From Jason Mannino at The Huffington Post:

When we think “self-centered,” unpleasant images often come to mind; but it becomes important in the context of self-actualization to distinguish SELF centered from EGO centered. During the holidays these can include stress over making sure we look good by buying and receiving the greatest possible gifts. You may find yourself obsessing over ensuring your special someone gets a gift that beats the one their ex gave them last year–even though you may be experiencing the pangs of the current economy. You may have friends and relatives running ragged amidst the chaos of the season, spending money they don’t have to make sure that their holiday feasts, trees, decorations, accessories and gift giving tops everyone else’s. This obsession is ego-centric, not SELF centered. It is ego-centric to allow oneself to be defined by the food we serve and the gifts we give; which can make the holidays very unpleasant.

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