The holiday season is busier than ever. How do you decide what is important to you?
The usual story
During the holiday season at the end of the year, we all inevitably get busy. Why are there three major holidays all in the span of six weeks? You have Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years one right after the other, with holiday shopping sprinkled throughout as people hunt for deals. It's crazy! How can we possibly stop this madness?
You have to decide if you will travel along with millions of other people to visit family or just have a quiet holiday at home. Also, the decorations are a must or else the local HOA will harp on you. Then there is the food. What to cook? How much to cook? Do I want to eat Turkey and Ham until I puke? No wonder people stress out over the holidays.
Is there a better way?
I don't want to be a Grinch. I am all for celebrating. These holidays have important purposes related to family and faith and should thus be enjoyed. In today's world though, we seem to always miss the point. When did getting the best deal on the latest TV become the high point of the season? Do you still enjoy that LCD TV you bought several years ago? What about the PS3? Anything you buy will not last. It will eventually become outmoded and obsolete. Instead invest in things that do last, rather than chasing the best bargain.
Take a different approach
Take some time. And by some time, I really mean a lot of time this holiday season, and spend it with your family. Your extended family and friends, too. Maybe some friends you have lost touch with over the years. Invest in people, not things. Share stories, laugh, cry, play some games, make memories. Your old TV might end up in the dumpster, but the time you spend with loved ones will be cherished forever.
Also, a little dirty secret of the retail world is that the best deals on items are often after the New Year when stores are trying to liquidate their inventories. So waiting to make those purchases will probably pay off, while you enjoy time with family and friends.
Ethan Hausmann is currently the Vice President of Marketing and Community Outreach for Successtar Enterprises LLC. He is an author, professional speaker, and seminar/workshop instructor. Ethan has extensive knowledge and experience in marketing, customer service, leadership, and other small business related concerns.