Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Have What You Want

by Kris Pitcher

We've had a "No Gift" policy in our family for some time now. At first, I was hesitant to tell people about it. It seemed like people would think we didn't have any holiday spirit, and to be honest we get some strange reactions.

My husband and I don't exchange gifts. For any occasion. Never have. People think that's weird. But we've tried to make our lives about wanting what we have, not having what we want. As people talk about having all their holiday shopping done and ask us about ours...we smile and laugh and say we don't do any.

Blank. Stares. There's no stress, no debt, and no unwanted sweaters or ties. We don't have to spend hours at the packed shopping mall, or purchasing gift cards on line only to trade the same $50 back and forth each year.

The stuff doesn't matter. What matters is spending time with family. What matters are the small traditions we carry out each year. What matters is wanting what you have in your life. I look around our very modest home and see clutter. Stuff we've moved from place to place. Things we've collected.

Even the limited amount of "things" we do have seems like too much. Why add to it? It's the notion of wanting and chasing happiness by adding stuff to your life. Stuff which isn't going to make you happy.

What makes me happy is feeling grateful for the abundance in my life. For the future we're creating, and for the imprint we're making. I'm happy to receive a compliment when I wear something I've had for seven years...that I bought at a second hand store.

It's not about the stuff, it's about the content in your life and the happiness you project as a result. And while I'm glad we are a nation of consumers (it's great for my investments) I'm content in a "less is more" attitude and I am thankful for what I have.

As we enjoy the holiday season, slow down and do one less thing this year. Spend time with family instead of rushing around. Ask yourself if you're creating additional stress with the things you have to do. And ask yourself if you might already have what you want in your life. Begin by wanting what you have.

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