December 16, 2014 - 9:03am -- Anonymous

It’s funny how your perspective changes through the years.  There have been many times in my past when I’ve just been “making my list and checking it twice.”  I still enjoy the shopping trips but now it’s more about catching up with friends or talking with family and planning the meal than the things on the list.  Family traditions are a key to enjoying the holidays, please remember to enjoy the moments with family and friends.  Being responsible for your own happiness through the season happens when it’s the things we do that can’t be purchased that contribute to the spirit of the season.  Here’s another reminder from Navigatinglife@uaex.edu

Pressure to overspend can increase during the holidays.  Consumers sometimes focus on buying gifts as a way to build special holiday memories.  However, family traditions and rituals are the foundation of most people's cherished memories of holidays past.  As the holiday season approaches, we are filled with anticipation and excitement. Businesses capitalize on these feelings and urge us to find that perfect gift for our special loved ones. But what is it about the holidays that really leave us with the warm glow of the season? If we look to holidays past, we will find that the magical moments we recall and value the most are not the glorious gifts we gave or received but rather the love and appreciation we showed as we joined with family and friends in those old familiar holiday traditions. Ask your family, what activities do you enjoy doing around the holidays?  Then ask, what gift do you remember from last year or the year before? 

Curb your urge to splurge this holiday season! Create meaningful memories with thoughtful gift-giving and family activities. Here are a few ideas to get you started: listen to Christmas music and decorate the tree together, bake and decorate cookies together and share them with your neighbors and friends, pop popcorn and watch holiday movies, attend a Hanukkah, Kwanza or Christmas Eve service, attend a holiday-focused community event, participate in a community service project together.  Check out our web site at Wayne.osu.edu to get some recipes that you can make at home to give as gifts. 

As the time for your celebration approaches, talk with your family about what are the things they look forward to the most.  Enjoy the family memories as you continue or create your traditions for the holidays.

Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.