Seniors: Preparing for the Holidays

Nov 12th, 2009 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Black Friday Specials are already being promoted.  Notwithstanding the expected slower shopping season, the promotions are descending on us.  Preparations this year may take on different dimensions than in years past.  Less being spent, less hype, less temptation , more reluctance and reticence, shopping may just be less appealing for most of us.  Unemployed families, those with fears of losing their jobs, those who have adopted more prudent behaviors are more likely to drive what is not happening this season.

And, you know what?  That’s just fine.  Our need to shop needs to be motivated by our circumstances and good judgment and anticipation of tomorrow more than quick sentiment, influences of advertising, and guilt.  Preparing for the holidays this year may be expunging the old habits of doing it just because everybody else does.  This may be the year that we teach by example that belt tightening is really an important response.  This may just be the time when frugality wins out over blind pushing and grabbing.  Avoid Black Friday. 

Begin now to develop a thoughtful way to be present to your family.  Begin now to determine that gifts are not alone the best or only way to express your affection and gratitude for their presence in your life.  Begin now to create new ways to share your self with others in your life. 

Some ideas:  Let your grandchildren choose from among a list of ways to spend time with you. Create a list that allows for something tangible (going to a special place) and relational. 

Give your children (grown, I assume) something from your household they have always expressed interest in and a desire for.  Allow them to pick it up and take it home on Christmas day.

Share something of your memorabilia with siblings that you know they would enjoy.  Perhaps it is something that came from your collective grandparents or other relatives. 

Send to those not present for the holiday a gift card that allows going to several movies this year.

Select a gift card for older persons that allows them to go out to eat, with a friend.

Make up a packet of gift notes, stamped and addressed envelopes for someone who lives far away.

Send an uncle or a nephew or grandson a gas card for a tank of gas.

Some of these ideas will cost a little, but remember the plan is to alter habits of conventional shopping and to dwell on ideas that fit the person and their needs.  You will have met your own needs by learning to be considerate and avoiding long lines at the mall.

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