This morning I found myself at the Maine Mall—a place I try to avoid especially at this time of year. But those flyers in today’s newspapers were filled with those “too good to be true offers” and I was on my way. I forgot my cardinal rule—don’t even look!

Now I’m good with not looking at the stream of catalogs that grace my mailbox. I can toss those catalogs right into my recycle bin without even opening them (except for maybe Crate and Barrel or Pottery Barn). And with those, I’ve learned that if I fold down the corner of the page for that must-have item, when I go back I can’t even pick out which item I must have. That spending gap saved the day.

But the Holiday Hype got the best of me today. I thought I would make it through by having my shopping done early—I wouldn’t have to even look at those ads with unbelievable savings. But, they have it down to a science and “gotcha” rang in my ears when I handed over my credit card for that one last thing.

So today’s advice? Put on your blinders, ear plugs and hold your nose because your senses will be accosted from every direction. Instead, focus on the experience of being with family and friends and know that everything you have done already is just perfect. Anything more is just fluff.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Season’s Greetings, however you want to say it – just enjoy it in whatever shape, size or form it appears!

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