We can all admit the silly season prep has hit us hard. It’s as though Halloween comes and goes but with it goes any idea that there “might still be time to get it done this year”, whatever your it might be. Suddenly the assault of Christmas decor in shopping centres is no longer subtle and every weekend is filled with “end of year” stuff – whether that be work functions, kiddie concerts, carol services or Christmas movies on Hallmark. Despite it being the first week in November, the Black Friday adverts are filling our inboxes thick and fast.
And with all the hype comes that nagging feeling that we, or our kids, or both, need more “stuff”. Better decorations for the tree, a few more fillings for the stockings, that once-in-a-lifetime special never-to-be-repeated. Our lives are already cluttered, why do we want to acquire more things?
We are nearly all proud owners of a scarcity mindset, whether we want to admit it or not. This could be as a result of our upbringing, our culture, media – blame whoever you like. A scarcity mindset makes you believe with all your heart that there are limited resources out there, and that your life will be better off if you acquire more stuff.
Your kids believe this too. How can they possibly ever be seen in public (school) again if they don’t have this or that? It might really be the end of the world.
In most cases, the mindset is just that, your reality, and not the truth. There’s more than enough of whatever to go around. So this year, why not think more experiences, less stuff. It’s one thing the millennials seem to have gotten right.
If you are going to buy a few things (which of course we all are), here are a few tips to try and limit the excess:
- Quality over quantity
- Value-for-money over bargain
- Long-term learning over short-lived pleasure
- Good design over gimmick or gadget
- Experiences over stuff
As all the excitement of the December break turns to overwhelm, try to remember your why and let that guide your shopping process.