Monday, November 22, 2010

Non-gift Giving

While we're on this gift giving topic (see last post), let's just acknowlege what we all know: We already have too much stuff. If this is your lament, here are some ideas to consider:

1. GIVE EXPERIENCES, NOT THINGS. Gift cards, tickets to a play or sporting event, or a spa treatment all fit into this category.

2. GIVE TO CHARITY IN RECIPIENTS' NAMES. Give to a cause that matters to the recipients, rather than you. For example, my sister and her family are very involved in their church. Though I haven't done it yet, I always think about buying a cow or chicks or bunnies in their name for a family in need through Heifer International (

3.  GIVE TO THOSE IN NEED:  Rather than exchanging gifts among your friends and/or family, adopt a family and buy for those in need.  A women's group I belong to does this each year.  These families are really in need, evidenced by neccesities, not wants, on their wish lists.

4.  GIVE THE GIFT OF YOUR TIME OR SKILLS. Offer to babysit for your sibling or best friend so they can have a night out without the extra expense of a babysitter. If you have a skill (decorating, painting, working with electricity or computers), offer your services in lieu of a physical gift. Last year my brother-in-law gave us the gift of installing new light fixtures for us. I wonder if there is an expiration date on that???

5.  SKIP THE GIFTS ALL TOGETHER: This one is hard to do, especially if kids are involved. I'll admit, I love to open gifts, and love watching somebody open what I hope is the perfect gift that I have found for them. But, it does get expensive. And, you sometimes end up with duds. A few years ago, we decided with my husband's siblings that we wouldn't exchange gifts among the siblings any longer. It saves us time and money, and puts the focus more on the kids than the adults. It's worked really well for us, but certainly isn't the right option for everybody.

Happy non-gift giving this year!

Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mis - we do this in our family because we don't have any little ones in the immediate family. It got to be so stressful prying out of one another what we needed/wanted for Christmas every year because we didn't need or want anything. So for the past couple of years (and likely many years to come) we donate to the local 'care and share' or the food shelf. We're giving to people who need it and eliminating so much of the holiday stress... and we LOVE it. We only buy for our god children now. Good post.