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It’s the holiday season, and it’s tempting for all of us to focus on one thing: gifts. Don’t get me wrong; it’s a rare few of us who are focused on gifts we’re hoping to receive! No — we’re all usually dwelling on the ones we want to give. And while that can be a truly wonderful way to love our friends and families, have you ever noticed that sometimes it can be a bit consuming?

8 shopping days til Christmas!

The stress of getting everyone we love just the right gift in time for Christmas can add up. Did we get everyone on the list? Did we spend too much money? Did we spend enough money? Can I make it to the mall this Saturday? The mall will be a ZOO this Saturday! Can I order it? What if I overnight it?

It’s a lot to deal with.

And we know this comes from a place of love. We want to love our families during this time; we want to be generous. But if we’re not careful, the gifts and the giving — and the planning — can take away from the joy of experiencing. The time we spend with each other is much more meaningful than the money we spend. It’s about connection. It’s about the rituals we partake in together, the rituals that remind us why we’re here and of the memories we’ve shared in holidays past.

So even as you’re getting all the gifts on your list, make sure to stop and ask yourself: are you practicing meaningful rituals with your loved ones this year? Are you making memories? How are you making the moments special?

Don’t let the stress of gift-giving take that from you or your family.