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The One Holiday Trap You Want to Avoid

Christmas season is my favorite time of year.

The lights. The music. The parties. The chill in the air. It’s just magical!

I love visiting friends’ houses or seeing their photos on social media during the Christmas season. The trick, though, is to not let all the festivity take you down the path of comparison living—and that’s an easy trap to fall into during the holidays.

If you’re on social media, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the photo a friend posted of their beautifully lit two-story house with the caption “#blessed.” Or the Christmas vacation a coworker is taking to Vail. Or the new Tory Burch purse another friend received from her husband. Those are all great things, but only if you can afford them!

At any moment, you can pull out your phone, open Facebook, and see hundreds of photos and status updates about things you don’t have. The truth is that you can’t keep up with the Joneses, and you shouldn’t want to. The Joneses are broke—flat broke.

They might be going on expensive vacations or buying designer purses, but the numbers say they’re probably using a lot of debt to “afford” it all. If you want to be normal, then be like the Joneses. But I want you to be different. I want you to be weird.

That means you’re not going to buy things you can’t afford, even during the Christmas season. That also means you’re going to ignore the social media comparisons—and even get off Facebook for a while if that’s what it takes.

One of the best things you can do is to make a list of things you’re grateful for. It’s so simple yet so effective in making you readjust your thoughts during the holidays.

There’s always going to be someone who has more stuff and nicer stuff. And if you’re always in search of more, then you’ll never have enough.

So this Christmas, strive to find contentment in where you are in life and what you already have. Find ways to be grateful for everything you’ve been blessed with, not just the glitzy and glamorous stuff we’re tempted to show off on social media (#blessed).

By letting go of the comparisons, you’ll find true contentment and a much more merry holiday season.

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Rachel Cruze

About the author

Rachel Cruze

Rachel Cruze is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, financial expert, host of The Rachel Cruze Show, and co-host of Smart Money Happy Hour. Rachel writes and speaks on personal finance, budgeting, investing and money trends. As a co-host of The Ramsey Show, America’s second-largest talk radio show, Rachel reaches millions of weekly listeners with her personal finance advice. She’s appeared on Good Morning America and Fox News and been featured in TIME, REAL SIMPLE and Women’s Health, among others. Through her shows, books, syndicated columns and speaking events, Rachel shares fun, practical ways to take control of your money and create a life you love. Learn More.

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