As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we are bombarded with Black Friday ads promising the best sales on stuff we don’t need. Each year, we strive to practice gratitude and to be more present yet, when it comes to Christmas, it seems like we forget everything we have told ourselves all year.

Clearly, most of us are not trying to change gift-giving by scaling back. People are still spending boatloads of money starting on Thanksgiving and through the following few days. We quickly shift from focusing on all the things we are grateful for, to all the sales we want to shop and purchases we want to make. Instead of slowing down, we speed up. We rush from store-to-store (or website-to-website) filling our shopping carts with things we think we need. We fill our schedules with increased commitments and responsibilities. We max out our credit cards.

We spend time encouraging our children to count their blessings, yet we’re making long wish lists, blowing our budgets on gifts, and falling prey to consumerism. You don’t need slippers. He doesn’t need another sweater. And your kids probably don’t need more toys. We get so frustrated and weary chasing the perfect holiday season instead of taking time to enjoy what we already have. You don’t need more “stuff” and let’s face it, most of it will end up in storage bins, collecting dust. Just more clutter to declutter at some point.

The holiday season is about being with people you love, and thankfulness, and faith and love and peace. It’s about reflecting on the year that was and looking forward to the year that can be. It’s about counting blessings. It’s about slowing down long enough to appreciate the things in life that matter most.

Once we slow down enough to notice our blessings, we begin to see that we already have everything we need for a perfect holiday season. Let’s pass on a legacy of living within our means and sharing traditions and experiences together over the holidays.

Helpful tips: Five ways to curb your spending this holiday season