For many of us, the holidays may cost us something. Whether it's money, energy, time, space, there's likely to be an output required of us. So, how do you plan on spending it? In this episode, Taylor encourages you to think about things like where will you spend money on gifts? Who will you spend time with during the holidays? What's your budget?
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Welcome back to Inner Warmup, where your inner work begins. My name is Taylor Elyse Morrison, and I'm the founder of Inner Workout. You, as always are our expert guest, thanks for being here. Since it is National Gratitude Month, we talked about gratitude last week, if you didn't listen to that episode. And in the States, at least, it's Thanksgiving, so I wanted to start this episode with a simple self gratitude practice. So if you will place one hand on your heart, and if it feels safe, let your eyes flutter closed and say thank you. You can say it out loud, you can just say it in your head. Thank yourself for being here, listening to this podcast, furthering your inner work. Thank yourself for continuing to be here, showing up in the midst of a really difficult year. Maybe as you say those thank yous, there's another thank you that starts to bubble up. For me, I'm thanking myself for not giving up. I was feeling really discouraged last night and today I'm here recording this episode with you. And so I just have to give myself a moment to say "thanks, Taylor, thanks for persevering." When you've said your thank yous, you can let your hand come down. You can open your eyes if they were closed and let's start today's conversation. The question I'm presenting to you is how will you spend?
And maybe you're wondering what happened to the second half of the sentence? How will you spend what Taylor? Well, it's no surprise that we're all spending something this holiday season, it might be time, or money or energy. And remember, we're in the middle of this honest holidays series because this is a season that is filled with traditions and expectations. And if we're not mindful, our spending, on whatever it is, can just happen on autopilot without conscious thought. So I'm giving you some time today to think starting with the question of how you will spend your money? The conversation around consumerism during the holiday season is nothing new. As societies, we tend to spend a lot of money from November to December and it's up to each of us to think about how we want to spend our money. You might ask yourself, how much? How much are you willing to spend on your parents or closest friends versus spending on a colleague or co worker? For me and Matt, my partner, my birthday is at the end of November, and his birthday is shortly after Christmas. So we've decided that we actually don't want to spend money on each other for Christmas. Christmas is what we celebrate personally during the holidays and we just decided, you know what, we have these two other opportunities to celebrate each other. It's okay, if we don't do Christmas gifts.
You might also think about who you're spending your money with and how does that align to your values? Are you spending your money with smaller companies, local companies, and that's important to you? Maybe you don't care as much and you just want to spend your money with whoever it's most convenient? I'm not placing a value judgment on this. I'm just encouraging you to ask yourself those questions because again, otherwise, we forget that we have options. I'm actually kind of behind this holiday season. It's been a much more full end of the year than I expected. But normally I have like a spreadsheet and I kind of look at the people that I'm buying gifts for and how much I want to spend money on and start filling in the gifts. Last year for example, we bought at a lot of black and woman owned companies. We bought a gift that supported the arts and that really reflected our values and what's important to us, while still finding things that the receiver would enjoy.
You might also ask yourself when you want to spend this money? Do you like the the excitement of shopping during the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, shop small Saturdays thrown in there season? Or do you like giving yourself more time and honestly giving the smaller companies more time too. I'm a little bit biased here as a small company that certainly does not have the shipping infrastructure of Amazon. People who buy early are a godsend because shipping is already busy during the holiday season, and then you add on some of the supply chain and logistical issues that have been going on at all levels...it's nice to shop early. So that's maybe something you didn't consider, and feels really top of mind for me because I have a different perspective.
And then we can get into the timepiece. So in the holiday season, you can kind of just blink and it's like, okay, it was Halloween and all of a sudden, I'm ushering in a new year. Where did the time go? And for me at least, this lessened a little bit with COVID. I used to have a lot more holiday parties and engagements to go to, but the time can still go by really quickly. And it's worth asking yourself, who do you want to spend time with? Are there friends you love gathering with for a Friendsgiving or doing a Secret Santa exchange with? Are there invitations that you can actually just politely decline and say "thank you so much, but I can't come this year"? Or if you feel like I have to go because XYZ reason and really, I would encourage you to interrogate that "have to" or that "should". But if you feel like it's important to go, maybe you set some boundaries around how much time you'd like to spend there. Again, asking yourself, these questions are not only around who you want to spend time with, but how much and how you want that to look and feel helps you have choice in spending, rather than just letting the tradition or the expectation lead you down a path that maybe isn't supporting you anymore.
And then the last piece is, how will you spend your energy? And in order to answer that question, you really have to know what's important to you in the holiday season. Like, if you love cooking, and decorating, maybe it's fun for you to spend hours, creating beautiful decorations for your home. Or, if you're a home chef, maybe making a four course dinner, lights you up and it takes you a week to prepare for but you were just smiling ear to ear the whole time. You figured out that those pieces are important to you, so that investment of energy doesn't feel as draining. Maybe if you like to make things, hand making your gifts even though I know people who, especially like knitters and crocheters, who will work all year on creating things for people. But they like spending that energy in that way because they've realized that it's important to them. So think about what are the things that make the holiday season joyful, or grounded or feel connective for you. And ask yourself if you're spending your energy in ways that move you towards that direction or if you're just kind of spending your energy by checking boxes. W must have a Christmas tree or we must celebrate Hanukkah in this way or Kwanzaa has to look like this. And all of a sudden you're spending all of your time at grocery stores and reading blogs and looking at Pinterest for things that don't matter all that much to you. When you know what's important, you can spend your energy accordingly. So now that I've given you some context, I'll offer this question back to you. How will you spend (whatever it is that you're spending - money, time, energy) how will you spend it with intention this holiday season?
Thank you as always for your time and for your expertise. If you want to continue the conversation, you can always DM us on Instagram. Reminder to my Chicago folks that we have a pop up on December 4, if it is important to you to spend your time and money shopping from black owned businesses. And for everyone else, we've got 15% off the website for the entire month of November. Thank you for listening and take care!