The one question to ask yourself before you buy anything this holiday season.

This is Thanksgiving week (yay!), which means Black Friday is looming — a dark, menacing cloud on the horizon. Arguably, it’s the day that brings out the worst in humanity, with people pushing and shoving and trampling each other to score $20 off a waffle maker.

And as the rampant consumerism of the holiday season becomes more obvious every day, it’s important to temper that impulse to BUY BUY BUY with some cool-headed rationality. Even though TV and magazines and ads galore lead us to believe we need $10,000 worth of crap to have a merry Christmas, they lie. We don’t.

The holidays (as we’ve been reminded via countless Christmas movies) aren’t about what’s under the tree, but about who’s sitting around it. Love, joy, togetherness. Warm fuzzies and happy memories. We all know this.

Unfortunately, it can be a challenge to remember what’s really important when faced with mile-long Christmas lists and high expectations.

So here’s what I suggest to make your life a LOT easier this holiday season: before you buy anything, ANYTHING at all, ask yourself this question: Will it bring value into my life, or the lives of others?

Will it be used, cherished, treasured for years to come? Or will it be in the Goodwill giveaway pile by March?
Will it be remembered? Will it stand the test of time? Will it make someone’s life easier or brighter or more fulfilling? Or will it be checked off a list and forgotten about?

Sadly, most gifts fall into the “quickly forgotten” category. But they don’t have to. Consider experiential gifts or gifts of time, energy of affection. Make someone a special dinner, take them on an adventurous outing, write a heartfelt letter of gratitude and love. Be creative. Think of new and different ways to show you care. Dream up gifts that mean something, because meaning = value.

Weigh every purchase. Think before buying. This year, forego the mad rush to acquire and opt for value, instead. <3


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