Though many of us wouldn’t mind sharing Christmas money with the deserving and the needy, we don’t feel the same way sharing our hard earned money with the money-making MNCs.

Christmas is that time of the year to unwind & celebrate full steam. That is exactly what the world around us does. With advertisers pushing their products into our faces non-stop for two months straight, we are all spoilt for choices that invite us to buy & spend endlessly. While this is how the consumerist society of today celebrates the birth of Christ at Christmas, there are few of us who have worked out an alternative way to celebrate Christmas and would like to move beyond this repetitively boring consumerism at Christmas.

Many find it boring to repeat the same thing year after year – the two-day bloat and the sluggishness from being indoor all day long and eating too much—just because it was all there and it tasted so good.

The weight gain the follows the Christmas season is something that is never on the wish list and the bloated will have to spend more time, effort and even money to shed the gains at Christmas. Christmas creates a stress before and the mess afterward and not many of us wants to add another pile of Christmas trash to the landfill. Though many of us wouldn’t mind sharing Christmas money with the deserving and the needy, we don’t feel the same way sharing our hard earned money with the money-making MNCs.

Burnt by the buying and binging at Christmas, some of us wouldn’t want to repeat it this year or the next. Some have removed themselves from this consumerist society and know very well that Christmas is what it has become to be  – a very costly, wasteful, mandatory binge dressed up as a merry gathering with family or friends.

For those of you who are seeking an alternative to celebrating Christmas the way the world does, here are a few recommendations that you can look into.

1.Escape! Get out of where ever you have been!

Plan a vacation that won’t be spoiled by the same kind of Celebration that you are fleeing from. Plan in advance and schedule to take the season off from your usual itinerary so that you can skip the whole stress of shopping, preparing, cooking, and cleaning.

At Christmas time, the usually crowed tourist spots get only more crowded. So go beyond. Rent a cabin in the woods & flee to a tropical island. Remember….you are fleeing the celebrations.

2.DIY-Christmas:

Christmas is a time for holidays. Utilize this free time as an opportunity to clean out the house, finally paint that room, or fix those shelves. This home-decorating project might also be the best excuse to get away from those who you want to avoid.

Or plan to do the same for senior citizens who might not be able to do it on their own. As a Christmas gift, visit the widower uncle or an old couple who could use your help. Clear out the garage, organize their kitchen, paint a few walls or redecorate the bedroom. Do whatever would bring a smile to their lips.

3.Disengage from the Net

Turn off our phone, switch off your computer, and unplug the TV, and be on your own. Do whatever pleases you. Think of how we used to operate in an unwired world – walkover to your neighbor, visit a friend or a relative instead of chatting over the phone. Or if you intend to stay home alone, then stock your fridge with the favorite finger foods, prepare some delicious smoothies beforehand, or just order take-out. You can just curl up in a corner of our sofa with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee and read some of those books that have been sulking on our bedside table, unread for years.

4.Giving away at Christmas:

The true essence of Christmas is about giving, sharing, loving which most of the time gets lost in the noise of all the merry making. Choose to spend a few days during the vacation visiting people in hospitals, orphanages, elderly homes, hospices, or shelters.

All around us, there are thousands of people who spend their Christmas away from home, and not by their own choice. Visit them if you know any. Take along a small gift, a piece of cake, or let them enjoy your company. Because love is always in need and there will always be someone who will appreciate our visit.

You would also have noticed that some of us employed with the utility and emergency services will be compelled to work at Christmas. They have to be on their jobs while the rest of the world is celebrating. Just a word of recognition or appreciation would go a long way in  encouraging their contribution while the rest of the world is celebrating.

5.BYOF (bring your own food) or pot-luck dinner:

While the actual idea is to cut off the celebration & unnecessary spending at Christmas – a pot-luck or Bring Your Own Food – dinner is a wonderful alternative. After all nobody wants to do all the shopping & cooking all alone if they had a chance. Invite friends, relatives to bring their own food while you play the host. That way you can have a lot of variety in food while all the labour that goes into preparing the food becomes shared. Take your chances and let everyone just bring what they like in a proper pot-luck fashion.

6.Health rigging the Celebrations at Christmas:

You could tie all the Christmas gifts to a Health theme and go completely against the usual Christmas fashion of eating way too much or sitting to chat all day long. Turn Christmas into a family health challenge instead.

Invent simple games that would also give sufficient amount of activity or exercise to counter the binge drinking and eating that is all part of the Christmas Celebration. Award winners with health promoting products, supplements and prizes.

Instead of cooking a fat filled, carbohydrated meal, prepare a bunch of healthy snacks and drinks, and dare the whole family to join you in the healthy lunch or dinner. This not only brings together the whole family but also will have us support each other while making it a great time for shared experience.

So this Christmas, let us come together to fight the consumerism and in the process you might even find yourself shed a few unhealthy pounds before the vacation is over! Moreover, when you find an alternative and healthy way to celebrate the season of love, you may also relieve yourself from a lot of stress, spend less money, and have more fun! And, we are making a difference not just for ourselves and our dear ones, but also for the environment, for our health, and for the less fortunate people in our community.

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