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 (http://www.heifer.org/).
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...