You know what’s crazy? That Christmas is next FRIDAY!! 9 days away!
You know what’s not crazy? That I haven’t picked up a single gift yet ;) And not just because I wait every year until Xmas Eve to do my shopping (typical guy – hah). For the first time EVER, our family isn’t giving gifts to each other! Only to the kids – woo!
The old me would have been in hysterics upon hearing this as most of the world loves getting presents, but J. Money 2.0 rears its head again and is more than overjoyed to hear such changes in the works. Mainly since it means:
- Less things to buy
- Less things to worry about after buying (I hate giving people things I can tell they hate when they fake smile back :()
- Less things for me to fake smile about
- Less things to occupy my home since I don’t need anything (yeah minimalism!)
- Less things to occupy someone else’s home (yeah helping others with minimalism! :))
- Less damage to the wallet
- And most importantly, more focus on each other
Of course, you can also gift things such as “experiences” and home-made items, and even donate to people’s favorite charities instead of handing them “stuff” left and right, but I still prefer the best gift of all which is simply being in the presence of loved ones vs. the presents BY loved ones. Though I appreciate the sentiment. (Oooh how’s that for a play on words! Someone trademark that!)
Plus, shopping for kids is much more fun than adults anyways – they love everything! Even empty bottles and tissue paper!
It’s interesting to watch the progression over time too, and how easy it is to keep spending more year after year whether it’s in your budget or not.
Check out this snapshot across the 35 Christmases I’ve been a part of so far:
- I give no one a gift (baby –> elementary school)
- I make everyone a gift (elementary school –> middle school)
- I buy everyone cheap gifts (high school –> college)
- I buy everyone decent gifts (early career –> mid-20’s)
- I buy everyone + their significant other a gift (mid-20’s –> late-20’s)
- I buy everyone + their significant other + their kid a gift (late 20’s –> early 30’s)
**** Change starts happening****
- I pick a name out of a hat and just buy for that sibling + every kid in the family (early 30’s)
- I buy for kids only! (this year – at 35)
And that’s just for my side of the family. My wife comes from a much larger side who went the “pick a name out of the hat” route yearrrrs ago and now only buys for special relationships like Godchildren and pollyannas for the kids and good ol’ momma too.
Oh, I should note that I’ll be picking up something for my parents too considering they GAVE ME LIFE and all, haha… You never know who will be following the rules anyways, so better to be safe than sorry! ;) (Perhaps I should have waited until after Christmas to post this up in case it backfires on us??)
Anyways, that’s the gift-giving word in our household this year… Needless to say it’ll be kinder on both the wallet and the brain. The wife and I will only be exchanging stocking stuffers too for the third year in a row since we keep the majority of our gift giving to birthdays only since they both fall in December as well. So you can imagine the smorgasbord of gifts we used to receive and give!
How’s your gifting going so far this year? Any new rules pop up on your end too?
PS: I should note that I appreciate all the gifts I’ve gotten in my life, even though I prefer not to receive any. This stuff is always hard to do “right” and make sure everyone’s on the same page, and at the end of the day it’s all in the name of love anyways. Except for maybe having to buy your boss something, but I wouldn’t want to find out what happens if you don’t ;)
PPS: Some great gift ideas if you still need any!
[Photo cred: hoyasmeg. Doodles by J$]