The holidays are coming. The signs are all there. We’ve been here before.
Familiar tunes flow from department store speakers and often from our own lips; garland and gifts take over guest rooms and closets; yoga classes and movie dates are postponed in lieu of shopping expeditions hunting for perfect presents and food for feasts. We organize tree-trimming gatherings, and climb rickety ladders retrieving lights, ornaments and stockings; we watch Miracle on 34th street for the 34th time as we tie ribbons and bows around foiled packages. We often spend money we don’t have in pursuit of an ideal nestled into our memories leftover from Christmases past.
Now, let me be quick to add, We LOVE CHRISTMAS but just out of curiosity, how do you feel about the holidays? Leave a comment below!
Holiday Archetype Quiz
What’s Next Boomer created a holiday quiz to assess how each of the archetypes (Rebel, Dreamer, Sage, and Caretaker) handle the holidays.
If you have not yet taken the Holiday Archetype quiz, click here. Based upon our research here is what we found:
All are welcome to share in the Dreamer’s holiday festivities. “Leave no one behind” might well be the Dreamer’s mantra. They can’t bear to think about anyone spending the holidays alone (even if that person really would just like to enjoy a little down time). “Mothering” is kind of the Dreamer’s M.O. They can’t resist clucking, nurturing, and including.
Dreamers will also enjoy the creative component of the holidays- decorating with a flourish- and their decorations will be unique- the one-of-a-kind hand made ceramic nativity scene or Menorah. Click here to read more about the Dreamer’s version of the holidays.
Caretakers value maintaining family traditions passed down from year to year. Whether it’s attending midnight services on Christmas Eve or lighting candles each night during Hanukkah, the Caretaker tends to honor these family customs.
The Caretaker is the best prepared of all the archetypes for the holidays, shopping and buying gifts throughout the year, mindful of sales, which help them to stay within budget. You won’t find the Caretaker in a frenzy buying last minute presents or hastily assembling decorations two days before Christmas. Click here to read more about the Caretaker’s version of the holidays.
Arguably, the Rebel may have the most fun of all the archetypes with this holiday season. Rebels by their natures are fun-loving, and what could be more fun than this colorful, musically imbued holiday season. They are more likely to decorate with colorful lights and decorations perhaps verging on the garish side.
Now don’t expect your Rebel to have actually prepared for the holidays. They truly fall into the last minute shoppers category. The “hot” new toys may well be sold out by the time the Rebel gets around to shopping. Click here to read more about the Rebel’s version of the holidays.
The Sage is quite likely to enjoy the cultural aspects of the season. Handel’s Messiah, The Nutcracker, or a production of the Christmas Carol is right up the Sage’s alley. In retirement the Sage may actually be a member of a choral group or orchestra and perform holiday music.
Gifts given by the Sage may be educational in nature — books, gifts from travel destinations, or even a subscription to National Geographic. The Sage may not like all the fuss and muss of the holidays, preferring simpler more minimalist decorations. Click here to read more about the Sage’s version of the holidays.
Still waiting to see which Holiday Archetype you are? Take the quiz here!
Holidays, By the Numbers:
When it comes to the holidays, Americans put their money where their “Happy Holidays” mouth is. The average American consumer will spend $935.58 for decorations, food, and cards for Christmas and Hanukkah.
The item that is most commonly purchased is the Christmas tree. Last year, 30 million “real” Christmas trees were sold in the U.S. The average price of these trees was $51. But the live trees are only a fraction of all the Christmas trees. My guess is the Caretaker, who loves tradition, and the Rebel, who would think a live tree in the house is fun, are the most likely ones who purchased live trees.
However, 80% of Christmas trees in homes are artificial trees. That’s right. Despite the lovely smell of a real tree, Americas opt out for ease instead of the real thing. Now, the vast majority of Americans do have the tradition of some kind of tree in the house. In fact, 75% of all American homes will have a tree this year.
Maybe we should have gotten into the tree business….
Liz Kitchens is a writer and blogger. Her blog, Be Brave. Lose the Beige, reaches out to Lady Boomers, women of the Baby Boomer generation. Liz also blogs for Growing Bolder and Vibrant Nation, two sites devoted to aging issues. Liz conducts workshops on the health benefits of creativity and is an ambassador for the Creative Caregiving Initiative sponsored by the NCCA, The National Center for Creative Aging. Liz founded the Jeremiah Project, an after school and summer creative arts program designed to foster self esteem and encourage creative thinking among at risk middle school aged students.