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Which holiday movie character are you?

Question 1 When you start thinking about the holidays, you feel...

  • Exhausted. The number of tasks on my to-do list seems to multiply every year!
  • Annoyed. It’s just another highly commercialized season.
  • Start? I never stop thinking about the holidays!
  • Anxious. Will I get everything I want?
  • Content. It’s a great time of year to spend with family and friends.

Question 2 What does Christmas morning look like in your house?

  • It looks like a beautiful store display. The only problem is that I’m too tired to enjoy it all!
  • Like any other morning.
  • Heavenly. It’s my favorite day of the year!
  • It depends on how big the pile of gifts for me is.
  • It’s a mix of excitement and down-time.

Question 3 How much time do you spend with your
friends and extended family over the holidays?

  • Even when I’m with them, I’m too busy playing the hostess to really connect.
  • I have no time for anyone who makes such a big deal about the holidays.
  • As much time as possible!
  • I don’t want to interrupt their shopping.
  • I find a good balance of outings mingled with normal nights at home.

Question 4 The day after Christmas, I feel...

  • depressed at the thought of all the time it’s going to take to put away the holiday decorations.
  • annoyed that people keep celebrating until the New Year.
  • disappointed. 365 more days until next Christmas!
  • angry that I didn’t get exactly what I wanted and have to stand in long lines at the store for returns.
  • satisfied. Another holiday season mostly full of good times and rest and relaxation.

Question 5 My approach to holiday shopping involves...

  • making spreadsheets! I have everyone’s size, favorite color, prior year’s gifts, etc.
    all organized and filed away.
  • making it very clear that I refuse to participate in yet another highly commercialized event.
  • shopping all year long! Anytime I see the perfect gift, I pick it up.
  • giving friends and family my “wish list” as early as possible to ensure that I get
    all my favorite stuff.
  • drawing names out of a hat to pick gifts for extended family. For immediate family,
    we focus on gifts of experience (music lessons, memberships, etc). I don’t need more
    clutter in the house!

Question 6 What is your holiday decorating style?

  • We aim for picture-perfect! I spend an hour each night just making sure that I get our
    Elf on the Shelf just right.
  • Non-existent.
  • Over the top! Garlands, stockings, gingerbread houses...all handmade.
  • I just make sure that our tree is big enough to fit lots and lots of gifts.
  • We hang up our kids’ favorite holiday items—just enough to make us happy.

You are Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation!

You probably started out with the admirable intention of creating a magical holiday experience for your family. And you also probably get a great deal of satisfaction from putting so much thought into making Christmas as perfect as possible. But if your joy in the holidays is being diluted by stress and/or anxiety, then it’s time to take a step back and figure out how to reduce the physical and emotional demands you’re placing on yourself.

Think back to your childhood holiday celebrations. Which traditions, activities, or occasions were particularly pleasurable for you? Ask your family members as well. You may be surprised by their responses. Maybe, for example, the holiday village you feel pressure to set up just-so every year won’t be missed.

Check out the Center for a New American Dream’s many resources designed to help you simplify your holidays and focus on “more of what matters” this year!

You are the Grinch!

We certainly don’t blame you for being dismayed by the commercialization of the season. We are, too! But don’t underestimate your ability to participate in the celebrations without getting sucked into the consumer frenzy. You can ward off the commercial excesses of the season, and create an authentic celebration that’s in tune with your unique needs and desires. Host a get-together, and ask all your friends and family to bring a canned good to be donated to your local food pantry. Volunteer at a nearby nursing home, and visit with those whose family may be gone or far away. Spend time in nature. Turn off the TV (or, at least, mute all the commercials!). Rather than focus on the commercialization of the holidays, take to heart the words of Hamilton Wright Mabie: “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” With that as your focus, you might find that your heart grows three sizes this season.

Check out the Center for a New American Dream’s many resources designed to help you simplify your holidays and focus on “more of what matters” this year!

You are Buddy the Elf!

What a wonderful attitude to have about the holidays! But there are two things to keep in mind. First, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to put on the holiday celebration of your dreams, try focusing on just a few of your favorite traditions. In other words, focus on simplifying, rather than organizing. Spreading out the holiday preparations over a longer period of time is not the same as simplifying. When you organize, you’re just reshuffling the same heavy load. Simplifying is about doing less, so you’ll enjoy it more.

Second, even if you enjoy every minute of your holiday preparations and celebrations, please be sensitive to your friends and family! They may not have the desire, the time, or the resources to join in all your plans.

Check out the Center for a New American Dream’s many resources designed to help you simplify your holidays and focus on “more of what matters” this year!

You are Ralphie from A Christmas Story!

For you, the holidays are all about getting the perfect gift—for yourself and for others. But did you know that studies indicate that those who focus on material possessions tend to experience fewer positive emotions each day? And that life satisfaction in general is correlated with having less materialistic values? So, if you tend to feel a bit depressed during the holidays, you now know why.

If you want a more joyful holiday season, take the time this year to focus on what’s truly important. Spend quality time with friends and family. Be thankful for all the blessings in your life. Show how much you care by helping those less fortunate.

Check out the Center for a New American Dream’s many resources designed to help you simplify your holidays and focus on “more of what matters” this year!

You are Linus from A Charlie Brown Christmas!

You have the true spirit of the holidays in your heart! You stay level-headed and focus on those traditions that bring true happiness to you and your loved ones. You don’t overcommit, or expect too much from yourself or those around you. You know that you can’t do it all, and you don’t even try. You have made the holidays a rewarding and relaxing time of the year. Congratulations!

If you want to be inspired to stay on track or want to share your views with friends and families, check out the Center for a New American Dream’s many resources designed to help people simplify their holidays and focus on “more of what matters”!

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