So let's talk holiday shopping today. That's what I wrote about in my published devotion today. How's your Christmas shopping going? Have you started your list? Finished your list? Finished & wrapped your list?
When you go holiday shopping, do you go alone or with someone?
Do you go whether you feel like it or not, or do you only head to the stores when you're feeling in the Christmas Spirit?
Do you think you spend more or less when feeling good vs. when feeling down?
I almost always shop alone. I shopped a little the day after Thanksgiving, but there have been several times this season when I didn't feel like going shopping, so I didn't go.
In years past I would've pushed past that feeling in order to get this week's advertised deals. But this year I decided there would be plenty of deals to be had in the coming weeks. I told myself to relax - that spending a few extra dollars wouldn't be the worse thing in the world if I didn't see that item on deep discount again. I've also cut my list down significantly this year.
Is your shopping/gift list going to be smaller this year? Does it worry you to whittle it down? Afraid to disappoint people? I had to get over that feeling too.
I like to shop and to give, but I'm slowing down my over all pace of life. Including my holiday pace. Plus, I'm reminding myself that I cannot purchase happiness - for myself or anyone else.
Recent research shows depressed shoppers typically spend 30% more than happy shoppers. I think that's because we have a tendency to try to purchase our way to feeling happy. We call it Retail Therapy.
But if I rely on attaining new things as a main source of joy, I'll be constantly buying stuff to keep my joy up ... and forever disappointed at my purchases’ inability to live up to my unrealistic expectations of them.
Not to mention, stress will arrive with the credit card bill - sending me out shopping for another pick-me-up. Nope, there are better places to find happiness. Like in serving God and serving others. Or in loving your family. Or in hearing the Savior say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."
This year I'm really focusing on the fact that lasting happiness has only been purchased once: at the cross of Christ some 2000 years ago. Thinking about all that implies, brings hope, happiness and joy that a new sweater or bottle of perfume simply cannot.
However, if I'm honest with you, I'm still hoping there's a shiny present under the tree for me come Christmas Eve.