It’s quite possible, even though we are well into December, that you have not started your Holiday gift shopping.
You are probably wondering who should be getting a gift, what budgets you are expected to spend, and who should get what exactly.
What about the notion of not buying anything for anyone?
I’m sure the word ‘Scrooge’ comes to mind but bear with me here.
Christmas and the whole holiday season has become the season to consume, over-consumption is absolutely rampant and your nephews request for a new Wii controller may make you his worst aunt or uncle — but standing up to it all and bucking the system may well be the most refreshing move you ever make.
The symbols of celebratory holidays shouldn’t be $10 board game deals at Walmart or Target’s Christmas Eve sale.
The emphasis should be on the people we are supported and surrounded by and how much we appreciate each other.
Each year, and especially in this economic climate, families are guilt-tripped into loading up their credit cards and depleting savings to keep up with what the holiday season expects of them.
This just isn’t fair.
I’m not for one second saying you should boycott the holiday season altogether, or spend absolutely no money on anyone. I think a little spending is very likely but I think that it would be nice if it wasn’t on things wrapped in fancy paper.
So what should you be doing for family and friends this holiday season?
I would suggest that you show your appreciation by doing things for people that really would make them happy.
If your brother’s household is crazy due to kids and work, offer to take the kids off them for a few nights, let them enjoy some holiday time alone and take the kids somewhere really cool.
If grandpa is a little unsteady on his feet these days get yourself over there a few times and keep that drive clear of snow and cook him his favourite meal.
If family or good friends are far away go out of the way to go and see them, even if it takes a lot of effort. The money saved on not buying gifts could go towards gas or flights if you can afford them.
Organise multiple gatherings. The big day is hard to prepare but the family always say on that day that they should see more of each other, well why not create a few more of these days over the season. A Holiday party or potluck can help make organization easier and everyone will be appreciative.
If anyone comments about your decision not to consume on the expected gifts explain to them that you are giving much more than 10 minutes on the internet purchasing a piece of metal and plastic.
What do you think about this idea?
I have not purchased any gifts this year and am planning to make a lot of home-made gifts — things like candles and framed photos. I’ll be traveling so have not fully decided how I will contribute yet, 100% gift-less could be a little too much to aim for but it’s a nice ideal.