As soon as the holiday season approaches, retailers bombard us with ads and commercials of all the “must-haves” this year has to offer. But, they all seem to miss a big one…presence. With all that’s going on, we seem to forget how important it is to spend time with our family. Perhaps what gets more overlooked is teaching the lesson of “presence over presents” to our kids.
As kids get older they become more aware of the whole gift-gifting process. Last year, my kids were ages 4 and 6. They started asking what they could buy me for Christmas. They actually went to their piggy banks and started counting change and dollar bills to see how much they could scrounge up to buy me the perfect gift. Little did they know they had already given me the best gift they could ever give…and it didn’t cost a penny. But, they didn’t realize it and continued to stress out that they wouldn’t have enough money for holiday shopping. In turn, that stressed me out because they should never worry about things like that.
So, I went over to them and told them to stop counting. I told them they didn’t have to buy me a thing. They looked confused and asked why? When I told them holidays were not about gifts, they still didn’t understand. So, I explained that holidays are about spending time with family and friends and doing cool things like checking out holiday lights. I went on to tell them if they really wanted to give me something, they could make me something. So, that’s just what they did. I got two great pictures that all of that money in those piggy banks could have never bought.
By teaching our kids the value of presence over presents, we can also de-stress ourselves during the holiday season. One way to do that is to check out SunTrust’s onUp Movement.
It is aimed at inspiring millions of Americans to take a step towards financial confidence while lessening financial stress. Part of lowering that stress comes with knowing that you don’t have to break the bank while shopping this holiday season.
You can also learn from lessons you teach your kids about presence over presents. Instead of shopping for gifts for everyone in your office, how about making them an ornament or something else useful? You’ll not only save money, but also giving a thoughtful gift at the same time. If you’re tired of buying another mug for your child’s teacher, why not bake cookies and put them in a reusable tin? This is something you do together so it’s a win-win all the way around.
You can download it and read about different ideas we can all use to get back to basics this season. Once you do this you’ll see how much time you’ll free up by taking the focus off of intense gift giving. It really is a liberating feeling!
Once you take the plunge to discovering financial freedom with SunTrust, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.