You may be wondering how you’re going to pay for Christmas gifts this year. I’d like to encourage you – you don’t have to do what you’ve done in the past, worry about disappointing anyone or break your bank account trying to buy gifts. If any of those situations are driving your Christmas gift giving, you may be straying away from what we need to focus on most this year – family, our health and our love for each other.
Why do we give Christmas gifts?
Christmas gifts have several roots in American culture, but tracing the beginning of the tradition back to any one source may be a matter of opinion and not fact. For example, some say giving gifts began when the three wise men brought gifts to Mary and Joseph after Jesus was born. Others say it began in the early 1800s as a push to create a child-centered holiday. Finally, some critics point to the marketing industry, blaming consumerism for the drive behind the season’s gift giving roots.
What should I keep in mind when considering and shopping for Christmas gifts?
Heartfelt can mean handmade.
If you are so creatively inclined, making gifts is a great way to say “this is more than personalized for you – it’s also personal to me.” Making gifts can range from kitchen napkins for your mother-in-law to children’s clothes for your nieces and nephews. I’ve personally created scrapbooks, stockings and gift baskets filled with home-made treats as Christmas gifts before. Every time my creativity and thoughtfulness have been mentioned.
Heartfelt can mean store bought.
My husband is an excellent gift giver. He has a natural inclination to knowing what someone needs and doing the research to find a product or a service that fulfills that need. Every year, myself and others thoroughly enjoy the gifts he gives. And what’s more? They’re just as thoughtful as something that’s been handmade.
Christmas gifts don’t have to break the bank.
I have a pair of earrings that are my daughter’s birth stone. I adore them. I wear them every single Sunday to church. I couldn’t imagine life without them. And you know what? I’m pretty sure they came from Kohl’s. Something like jewelry doesn’t have to come from a high-end, retail store for it to be meaningful or quality. And neither does anything else you give. Consider purchasing an item in a lower price point this year and I promise – the recipient will be just as grateful.
Christmas gifts don’t have to be things.
I love exploring in my community, and your special someone may too. Consider gifting an experience, like eating out at a nice restaurant or taking a day trip to an area zoo, museum or tourist attraction. What’s better, this is a gift that you can save up for, plan in advance, or even push the experience to the spring when the weather is nicer.
Sometimes, the best gift is no gift at all.
We are a family of farmers. Having to depend on the weather and land teaches you a few things about expectations – not every year is going to be the same. There are years of harvest and years of famine. The same principle can apply to your Christmas gift giving. If this has been a year of famine for you, consider gathering your family, drawing names from a hat and whoever you drew from the hat is the one person you’re going to buy gifts for. Consider gifting one gift per person this year. Consider gathering for breakfast or brunch and simply enjoying each others company.
Christmas can come year round.
Give a gift to yourself and budget every month for Christmas. By budgeting a little bit each month, you won’t be nearly as overwhelmed trying to prepare for your Christmas shopping. You can also have a better chance at providing the Christmas you see in your head and you won’t be driven by what you feel in your heart when it’s time for your children see Mr. Claus.
Are you excited for Christmas this year? What are you and your family doing? I would love to know! Get in touch with me on Facebook and let me know what Christmas looks like for you this year.