I can’t afford Christmas the way my friends celebrate it! My husband and I are professionals with good jobs but with three children, a mortgage and elderly relatives to take care of back home, I feel overwhelmed by the sheer cost of parties, presents and everything that goes with it. Please don’t suggest that we cut out the celebrations as my family would be disappointed and I would feel bad too. Any suggestions?
Nicole, Abu Dhabi
Relax! I’m not going to suggest that you cut out celebrations; in fact, quite the opposite. You must celebrate, but with an inspired attitude to what Christmas really signifies. To help you decide (and our readers who might share your dilemma this season), we have arranged for a special offer designed to take the Christmas blues away.
- Clarify your intention.
Ask yourself what values does Christmas hold for you and which ones are you imparting to your children; and at what cost? Nowadays spiritual occasions have become consumer-oriented spending sprees without giving a thought as to why many of us continue to fall into that commercial trap. You can choose differently. Christmas holidays are a unique get together-time for the family and are not only about exchanging expensive gifts or laying out a spread at exorbitant costs. The Three Wise Men certainly did not have that in mind when they presented their gifts. Their wisdom and knowledge of astrology was expressed in the timing of their gifts which were ordinary practical. It has been suggested by scholars that the ‘gifts’ were medicinal rather than precious.
- However you celebrate Christmas…
Drawing inspiration from the Three Kings, think of practical, meaningful and possibly therapeutic gifts. For example an astrological chart, interpretation and character analysis. When each of my nieces was born, I gifted each one such a chart to which they still refer to now – more than twenty years later. Like the Magi, think ‘medicinal’ gifts; these can be relevant therapeutic body treatments to invigorate and wipe away a year-long stress
- You do have choices.
Escape the big costly do’s by booking an all-inclusive holiday break for the family here in the Emirates. The best place I can recommend, which caters beautifully for families is Rixos Bab El Bahar at Ras Al Khaimah. Here, in gorgeous surroundings, you and family can exchange meaningful gifts and cherish valuable memories. Sometimes, the most valuable gift you can give a loved one is that of quality time.
Like the Magi, think ‘medicinal’ gifts; these can be relevant therapeutic body treatments to invigorate and wipe away a year-long stress. It has been suggested by scholars that the ‘gifts’ were medicinal rather than precious…
To seek inspiration from the original Christmas story for gifts and to share valuable time with family. Children can also develop a deeper sense of what’s valuable and connections with each other.
To check out www.londonastrology.com/prints; as an example of alternative gifts members can find pleasure in past Christmas holidays. We’ve also selected Chaslu, Dubai wellbeing centre in Jumeirah, where a wellbeing assessment is conducted by medical doctors who have a holistic approach and can suggest the best treatments by using a combination of healing therapies from the East and West, www.Chaslu.com
READY, STEADY, GO…Focus on value not cost.
What is important about the celebrating, who do you value, and how you would express that towards them.
Nicole could not see past the stress and the financial impact of celebrating Christmas, and was worried about pleasing her family and friends, forgetting to ponder the meaning of the celebration. She could not think of a way to reconcile her fears other than cancelling the celebrations.
- To draw inspiration form the story of Christmas, focussing on meaningful gifts that are valuable – which does not mean costly.
- To have an intimate celebration with loved ones who count in her life.
- To think laterally, and skip all the commercial fuss that comes with Christmas, and celebrates the festive season with her immediate family at an all-inclusive family resort.
Create practical gifts which can also be healing or medicinal. This stimulates each family member’s creative buds and allows them the opportunity to reflect on what each member means for the other.
The Action Plan.
- Encourage family members to think of creative, meaningful gifts.
- Opt out of the usual big celebration and focus on spending quality time with immediate family in a private celebration
Sahar Huneidi is a holistic therapist and bio energy healer. She is also an access bars practitioner, and self-awareness coach since 1992.
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