In a few days, kids and families will be ripping open presents of popular items such as Squishmallows to the latest tech devices.
Despite rumblings about the economy, it seems spending is on the rise this season. The National Retail Federation forecasts that holiday retail sales during November and December will grow between 6% and 8% over 2021.
And it started earlier this year. I don’t know about you, but my shopping trip to Hobby Lobby, with long lines two weeks before Thanksgiving, felt like that was the case.
Don’t get me wrong, holiday shopping is fun and it’s the best feeling to give something to someone I love during this time of year. However, it does feel like I am adding to my pile or their piles. Yes, we all have that chairdrobe, not just with clothes, but with stuff. My kids, especially, with each age, accumulate more things as their true self evolves. And, after all the wrapping paper is thrown away, now we have to find a place for everything.
It might be a good time to think about what kind of “stuff” we have stored — especially after the past two years where it feels like we’ve seen everything we own.
So, after celebrating whatever holiday, and those decorations come down, see if there is anything that needs a second life. What can you rearrange or reuse? If upcycling seems overwhelming, have the family go through everything and donate, or even sell a few items online.
While it does feel like the holiday season can be about “stuff,” we all know it’s more than just that. For this issue, we sprinkle in gift ideas, but it’s also spending quality time with family and friends. My favorite part of this time is there’s so much to do and see. We provide happenings from seasonal events with the whole family to a few ways parents can connect on New Year’s Eve.
So as we look to 2023, whether we are asleep when it happens or cozy with the ones we love —maybe it can really be a fresh start for everyone, that’s my holiday wish, anyway.
PS. On a personal note, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that we are missing someone this year in our holiday celebrations — my beloved 97-year-old grandfather, which will change family traditions as we have to create some new ones. For those of you who have an “empty chair” too, just know you are not alone.