The Simple Things Can Make A Frugal Christmas A Real Special Time
As someone who currently is on a small budget at Christmas, I know what it’s like to feel poor at Christmas. This feeling changed this year.
I understand how many people feel, who have little or nothing (financially speaking), and how this can bring up feelings of longing, envy, jealousy and resentment, but it doesn’t have to always be this way.
I know how tough it can be staring into glittery shop windows, watching people who dine out, go to parties, spend extreme amounts of cash on family and friends and how it can cut you to the core inside.
We can feel poor financially and materially, poor of health, poor of company, poor of well-being.
All equally challenging to say the least.
But I know from experience that this time of year not only brings up feelings of loneliness, but it also affects a lot of people financially and can determine how they feel about how much money they do or don’t have, and how they feel that reflects on who they are.
The way society is set up is to encourage spending lots, getting all the new top gadgets, for the mountain of gifts to increase each year.
This reminds me of the movie ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, where Harry lives in the cupboard under the stairs. His cousin Dudley screams because he has 1 fewer presents than previous years for his birthday and society is no different, encouraging this too.
How we experience Christmas can change. We can bring the real magic back to this seasonal holiday without feeling lack, or making ourselves feel bad for not having enough.
Bringing The Magic Back & Releasing The Need For The Pain Of Envy
The next time you feel the flood of envy or jealousy, allow yourself to feel the feeling fully. This is the first step on the pathway to inner peace. Do not try to resist it; sit for a moment and breathe into it, find that compassionate place within you where you are safe, where you can allow yourself to care for that suffering part of you.
When you have felt this, 5 minutes to begin with, allow yourself to ponder on these ideas.
- What you see in others may be an illusion.
- What a rich man or woman shows on the outside may not mean they feel rich inside. A millionaire can be empty inside yet have an abundance of material wealth and appearance on the outside.
- Many people over-indulge to distract from feeling those challenging emotions that you just allowed yourself the compassion to feel.
Experiencing The Magic Again
- Even if you are not Christian you can attend many free carol services and choirs in your local churches and cathedrals. This has helped me really feel the magic of this holiday. On Christmas Eve I will be attending my first ever Midnight Mass. I am not Christian so I was unsure about this, but a friend assured me that all are welcome and that it can be a beautiful introduction to the Christmas festivities.
- Bake cakes, cookies, fill your home with spices and orange peel scents. Make Christmas about the feeling, not the gifts, the soul of Christmas, not the material side.
- If you have children go on a red berry holly hunt. Go collecting from nearby bushes or go for a walk in nature (being careful not to take too much), collect pine cones and greenery for your home. Add dashes of natural colour to your house, room, bedsit or flat. Anything left over can be made into beautiful candle holders. If you have enough you can make wreaths and lovely household crafts. Speak to your children about the story of Christmas or if you prefer, talk about the Winter Solstice; talk about the return of the light. After Christmas lunch, instead of watching television, go on a long walk to walk off the Christmas food and meet lots of people on the way all wanting to wish you Merry Christmas (people tend to do this lots on walks on Christmas Day). Check out HERE for ways to bring the magic in if you have children and are having a frugal Christmas this year.
- On Christmas day if you have nothing or little to open remember this is not what Christmas is about. Embrace the sacredness of the day, light candles. If you have company, enjoy the connections you have. I have recently become a ‘Classic FM’ fan and I listen to the classical channel on the radio. This is full of beautiful traditional carols and is very magical to listen to. Embrace the moment.
- If you feel a longing or lonely, play music, meditate, give yourself space to find your own inner resources inside. You can also go to Christmas Day services. If you are able, make connections even if these connections are on-line with others who are also alone this Christmas. Volunteer if this feels right for you in soup kitchens and for the homeless. Helping others opens the heart and can make this time extra special.
|Lighting candles can make this a sacred time,
and without money Christmas needn’t be poor.