As women, we often find ourselves falling into the role of martyr and sacrificing things we want or want to do by putting others’ needs in front of our own. This tendency can increase three-fold around the holidays as women tend to be so passionate about creating lasting memories for our families and those around us. This goes for all women but can be an exceptionally prevalent quality found in mothers. There is nothing wrong with the desire to create amazing memories for those important to you, but it becomes an issue when the happiness of other people is put on a pedestal higher than your own happiness. This is why women should all be getting into the habit of buying themselves a Christmas present.
Before you dismiss this idea as not in the spirit of Christmas, think really hard about the last time you did something strictly for yourself. This could look like buying yourself something you really want that isn’t necessary (hello, Apple watch!), or having an experience you really wanted just for yourself. If you can think of something off the top of your head within the last month, that is awesome! You may not need this advice. The rest of you, though, probably had a hard time thinking of a concrete example. This is a problem, especially when most women can give a list of presents they will be giving this year for Christmas, and a list of fun experiences they will be creating for their loved ones.
Giving yourself a Christmas present does not always look like wrapping something fun under the tree to pretend to be surprised about. Your personal Christmas gift could be giving yourself permission to do something that you have been wanting to do. Want to go on a solo vacation? Have you been wanting to get a pedicure for the past year and a half and have been using work schedules and personal commitments as an excuse not to make time for it? Give yourself permission to make time for the things you want to do. If you need something a little more substantial than just the promise of making time for yourself, make yourself a coupon book. Fill this book with things that you have wanted to do over the past year that you never found the time to do. Manicures, pedicures, solo Target trips for the moms in the house, getting a massage, etc.
This is not to say we should use Christmas as an excuse to buy ourselves expensive things we don’t need and can’t afford. If you really want a Mac laptop and do not have the money for it, you should not say, “Well, it’s Christmas!” and put it on your credit card. However, if you really want a Mac laptop and have been putting it off because you feel like you can’t spend that much money on yourself, even though you have the funds for it without depleting your emergency fund, what is stopping you? If you have children and they were to ask you for something equivalent that they were sufficiently responsible enough to own, would you react the same way as you would if you were buying it for yourself?
You are worthy of being treated, especially by yourself. This is 2018, and you don’t have to, and should not, wait around for somebody to give you something that you can give yourself! As good as it feels to receive a thoughtful gift from another person, it can feel even better to give yourself a gift for the holidays. The feeling of getting yourself something that you earned is priceless, and the knowledge that you did that without guilt is something all women should strive for. So do like Donna Meagle from the hit TV show Parks and Recreation and “Treat yo’ self” with no guilt or shame.