Overcoming Christmas Consumption

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.

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