Don’t go broke this festive season!


We all know that the holidays are all about gifting – but should they be?

The year comes to an end, exams are done, you probably have the prospect of few days off – Summer foods with boozy desserts and festive cocktails make us all a bit more relaxed…Why then can the festive season be such a stressful and draining experience?

Overindulge. Overspend. Overthink.

It’s so easy to overindulge at this time of year, and the regrets of overeating and overspending hit hard the minute the last new year’s firework fizzles out. Overthinking your bad decisions in the new year can also lead to an unpleasant start to your year – and that’s the last think you want.

Why not approach the holidays differently this year?

Decide to be proactive this December. Remember that January will come with its own stresses and bills and nothing you do over the festive season will make your January pay day come any sooner. Being broke when the school fees and debit orders come calling will quickly turn January into Januweary and leave you exhausted before the first school bell even rings!

Don’t end the year strong, end it gently instead.

We only have a week or two left before the rush starts again. Instead of squeezing everything in and rushing through the holidays at warp speed – step out of the race and step into a mindful summer break.

Reflect on the year that has been, give thanks for what you have gained this year and let go of those things that weren’t meant for you.

Ditch the fussy stuff.

Do the same with your family – instead of getting tied up in sticky tape, wrapping paper, decorations and overpriced rubbish you shouldn’t be buying in any case, give the gift of time. And more importantly – normalize a break from consumerism.

Make the festive season about the traditions that bind us. The memories that will sustain us all through our lives.

Start a new wave of gentle celebrating.

Instead of a hot and rushed dinners that leaves everyone stuffed and lazy, have a braai, play games and choose to relax.

Don’t drive anywhere, don’t overindulge in alcohol, stay safe, assure that you can start the new year with a clear head and a calm heart.

Take a time-out.

Talk to your children, nieces, and nephews, grandma’s, aunties and parents.

Reconnect and learn from them. Go for a walk, go to the beach, play a board game. Spending time together without spending money is how we really get to know each other and grow our relationships.

Spend wisely.

When you do have to spend money, be sure to spend wisely.

The best way to ensure that everyone has what they need for the new year is to incorporate their needs into gifts.

Start a new tradition of gifting useful essentials that will take the sting out of the first shopping trip of the new year.

Buy school supplies or something else that the kids might need for their school year. Book bags, sport gear or gift vouchers are much more sensible than expensive plastic toys and fancy clothing.

Don’t get trapped. Out of sight, out of mind…

If you don’t see the pile of wonderful (but unnecessary) chocolates, you won’t be tempted to buy it! Stay out of malls and shopping centres unless you absolutely must go – and when you do venture into one, have a list and a plan to ensure you don’t impulsively overspend.

Thank yourself.

Now that you’ve re-invented the holiday season and ensured that the 100 days of January won’t break the bank, sit back, and thank yourself. This new way of celebrating the festive season will be a total overhaul of what a holiday break can mean for your family – you have successfully changed the outcome of many holidays to come, and your loved ones will thank you for it.

We wish you a peaceful, bright, and merry festive season, surrounded by those you hold dear.