How to Make This Holiday Season More Meaningful


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There seem to be two versions of the holidays: One is all about consumerism – buy, buy, buy. The other is filled with warmth and family and friends – the kind of celebration we see reflected in classic holiday films. And we’re drawn to them because they remind us of what’s really important.

In fact, there’s truth in both versions, but by keeping a few key tips in mind, it’s simple for everyone to incorporate more meaning into the holidays. Just like on the big screen.

The holidays are about families, and the colorful characters that make them wonderful … and sometimes, not so wonderful. It’s the time to bring all these personalities together. And sometimes we need a little help.

Huffington Post writer Lisa Turner, for example, recommends bringing families together by creating a ritual for them to share year after year. She writes, “rituals anchor holidays, and give a sense of continuity and tradition,” noting that it can be something as simple as lighting candles or singing songs that bring us together.

Coming together in this way enables us to do more than just give gifts; real meaning comes in the shared activities that connect us with each other. Perhaps we should also learn from the Europeans who give small tokens like homemade baked goods or hand-crafted ornaments in lieu of expensive presents.

For them, the value is in the exchange rather than the price point. It makes our usual holiday buying frenzy look shabby and unworthy of any film classic.