As we move into the holidays; generally a stressful time of the year. I am reminded of a documentary that I saw years ago, called Money and Life. It discusses the dangers of attaching too much of our lives and worth to a dollar figure.
Over the years, money has lost its roots… it was created as a spiritual exchange of energy between people. Today, money feels more like something that controls our lives and divides us. Money today, causes a feeling of division and lack. The holidays feed into this feeling, causing us to spend money on things we don’t need and on presents that are forgotten within a month. Many times people will go into debt to fill this expectation of spending over the holidays.
What can you do? How can you buck traditional consumer culture?
The first thing is to start from within. Start by shifting your inner paradigm around money and spending. Trade spending and consuming for more time to think and relax.
Purchase things that are built to last, so many products today, break down within 1-2 years of purchase.  This is what we call planned obsolescence, where products are literally designed to break within a certain time frame so you have to buy it new again.  I recently, flew on Southwest airlines and they had an article in their magazine about buying products only once, and buying things that are built to last.  The idea of buying something that is build to last is good for you and the planet.  There is a website, called buymeonce that recommends products and companies that build their products to last, check them out here. 
Buy experiences rather than consumer goods, for example: gift cards for dinner, a massage, tickets to the movie or theatre the options are endless. (Even better, take your friends or family out on an adventure, you get to spend time with them and remember the experience.)
Tap into your creative side and make something this year, a photo book, knit a hat or scarf, make jewelry, make a mix of your favorite music, bake cookies.
Shop at a local small business to keep the money in the local economy.
Donate to your gift recipient’s favorite not for profit.
If you have never heard of the Story of Stuff project, watch their awesome YouTube video here!  
Wishing you and your family a very peaceful and happy Holiday!