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Can’t afford Christmas!

I feel overwhelmed by the sheer cost of parties, presents and everything that goes with it

“I can’t afford Christmas the way my friends celebrate it! My husband and I are professionals with good jobs but with three children, a mortgage and elderly relatives to take care of back home, I feel overwhelmed by the sheer cost of parties, presents and everything that goes with it. Please don’t suggest that we cut out the celebrations as my family would be disappointed and I would feel bad too. Any suggestions?” Nicole J. Abu Dhabi

Dear Nicole,

Relax! I’m not going to suggest that you cut out the celebrations; in fact, quite the opposite! You need to celebrate – however, with a new inspired attitude to what Christmas celebration can be. To help you make your decisions, (and our readers who might share your dilemma this season), we have arranged for a special offer designed to take the Christmas blues away.

1- First, clarify your intention. Ask yourself what values does Christmas hold for you and which ones are you imparting to your children; and of course at what cost? I personally believe that in recent years many spiritual occasions have become consumer-oriented spending sprees without giving a thought as to why many of us continue to fall into that commercial trap!

Christmas holidays are a wonderful get together-time for the family where relationships can deepen; and are not really about exchanging super expensive gifts or laying out a spread at an extortionist cost. The Three Wise Men certainly did not have that in mind. Their wisdom and knowledge of astrology was expressed in the timing of their gifts which were ordinary and of practical. “It has been suggested by scholars that the “gifts” were medicinal rather than precious material for tribute”.

2- Second, however you celebrate Christmas, and I will come back to a possible venue later, gifts would be the highlight of the occasion. Drawing inspiration from the Three Kings, think practical, meaningful and possibly of therapeutic gifts which each family member can hand-make for the other (including the gift-wrapping) for-example, or ones that can useful as well as inspiring for many years to come; such as an astrological chart, interpretation & character analysis. When each of my nieces were born, I gifted them such a chart to which they still refer to now – more than twenty years later. Like the Magi, think “medicinal” gifts; these can be relevant therapeutic body treatments for example to invigorate and wipe away a year-long stress.

3- Thirdly, you do have an alternative choice: escape the big costly do’s by booking an all-inclusive holiday break for the family here in the Emirates. The best place I can recommend, which also caters for children as well as adult entertainment is Rixos Bab El Bahar at Ras El Khaima. Here, in gorgeous surrounding, you children and you can exchange meaningful gifts and cherish valuable memories. Sometimes, the most valuable gift you can give a loved one is that of time.

4- Ready, Steady, Go!
Focus on value not cost: what is important about the celebrating, who do you value, and how you would express that towards them.

Nicole’s goals:

  • To draw inspiration from the story of Christmas, focusing on meaningful gifts that are valuable which does not mean costly.
  • To have an intimate celebration with loved ones who count in her life.
  • To think laterally, and skip all the commercial fuss that comes with Christmas, and celebrates with her immediate family at all-inclusive family resort.

The brain Storm

Create practical gifts which can also be healing or medicinal. This will stimulate each family member’s creative buds and allow them the opportunity to reflect on what each member means for the other.

The action Plan

  • Encourage family members to think of creative meaningful gifts.
  • Opt out of the usual big celebration and focus on spending quality time with immediate family in a private celebration.

The Idea

To seek inspiration from the original Christmas story for gifts and to share valuable time with immediate family. Children can also develop a deeper sense of what’s valuable and connections with each other.

The answer

To check out www.londonastrology.com/prints; as an example of alternative gifts members can find pleasure in past Christmas holidays. We’ve also selected Chaslu, Dubai wellbeing centre in Jumeira, where wellbeing assessment is conducted by real doctors who have a holistic approach and will assist you to decide on therapeutic treatment by using a combination from the East and West, www.Chaslu.com.

The Doubt

Nicole could not see past the stress and the financial impact of celebrating Christmas, and was worried about pleasing her family and friends forgetting to ponder the meaning of the celebration. She could not think reconciling her fears other than cancelling the celebrations.

Appeared in The Life Coach Dec 2014- New You Magazine.

©SaharHuneidi-Plamer 2017. Please subscribe to my podcasts on iTunes.

About Sahar Huneidi-Palmer (71 Articles)
Author, Columnist, Holistic Therapist & Personal Development Coach focusing on Personal Resilience. Helping my clients achieve the life they are meant to live since 1992. I am a published poet in literature magazines in the UK; and play the piano. My friends and those who know me describe me as a “wise woman” and a "pathfinder". I am passionate about demystifying the abstract, writing, teaching, brand-management, podcasting, and love Turkish coffee!

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