But if this year is going to be one with less consumption, Studio 5 Relationship Coach, Matt Townsend helps us know how to have the conversation to set that up.
⌘ Remember the Holidays are what you make them.
o Remember it’s up to you, not WalmartYou make your world and your children’s world.
o Cutting back can be healthy. You make your world and your children’s world.
⌘ Openly discuss the situation and manage expectations
o Most problems with people are mismanaged expectations.
o Hold a family meeting
o Share with them how tough the economy and job market are.
o Santa can’t give everything he did last year because so many people are hurting for the basics this year.
o Don’t worry them…just inform them.
o Discuss how else you could make the holiday special on a tighter budget.
o Set some goals together that are reachable.
o Agree on a budget with your partner
⌘ Collectively Count Your Blessings
o Make it a point this holiday to focus more on your abundance and what you’ve got as a family.
o Start making a list of all of your blessings.
o Notice things you receive every day.
o Focus on gifts of everyone in the family
o Share those gifts with others.
⌘ From All of Your Blessings…Bless Others
o From your list of Blessings get creative and start finding ways to serve others.
o Take only cash…don’t use a credit card.
o Don’t try to single handedly pull our economy out of the recession.
o Stick to the budget no matter what.
o If you’re blessed with more time than money, spend more time.
o Have a plan
o Anticipate their upcoming needs for the year and buy that.
o You’re spending money you were going to spend anyway.
⌘ Focus on the reason for the season
o Create service opportunities
o Take an increasingly spiritual or religious view of Christmas or Hanukkah
o Spend more time together than money.
o Share your fondest memories as a kid at Christmas.
o Find and share good stories that remind them of the spirit of Christmas.
o Go to the sites, Temple Square, Ice Skating, etc.
• Sell it!
Matt can be reached at the Townsend Relationship Center in Sandy. You can contact him through his website www.marriagemattersutah.com or by calling (801) 747-2121.