I had dinner with a friend the other night, and we talked about how stressed out we feel during the holidays. We don’t get any break from work, so we don’t have extra time to go shopping for presents, bake cookies, or decorate the tree. Plus we don’t really have the extra money for all of those things, which causes additional stress by itself. And, to top it all off, we inevitably have to deal with crazy family dynamics: making both the sisters who aren’t speaking to one another feel welcome, dealing with a drunk uncle– you know exactly what I mean. My friend said, “Aren’t the holidays supposed to be about spending time with the people you love? By the time I’ve dealt with everything, I just want to be alone!”
That’s why it’s so important that we make time to reconnect with our loved ones and make them feel special. Forget mailing dozens of holiday cards (with my apologies to Miss Manners); they waste a lot of time and energy for people who are really acquaintances. Forget giving homemade cookies to the neighbors; you don’t really like them that much anyway. Instead, spend your time forging deeper connections with the people closest to you.
I went home that night and made a pact with my boyfriend. We’re each buying each other something practical as a gift this year- I, for instance, need a new pair of running shoes. But we’re really giving each other the gift of our time, by having a “weekend away” at home and rekindling our romance. We’re shutting off the computers, powering down the cell phones, and telling people that we’re actually away, so that we don’t get bothered by anyone. And you’d better believe that I’ll have something new to wear that weekend as a surprise.
Lingerie doesn’t cost very much money– most of the items AboutCurves carries are less than $50 (and many of them are under $30). But lingerie shows that special someone how much you care about them, because you want to shower that attention on them and spend the time to reconnect. For me, that’s a lot more satisfying (and a lot less stressful) than running around a mall spending more money than I really have to “prove” how much I love him.