Gifting, or going?

It is the time of family get-togethers, Christmas decorations, mistletoe, hot cocoa, caroling, travel, and gift giving. We want to enjoy time with loved ones. There is, of course, teaching children about the reason for the Christmas season. And cooking, eating, eating, and eating. Today, in fact, we are having a little crafting playdate with some Christmas crafts.

But I have found that one thing that takes up a bundle of my time in December is the giving. When you have thought and considered and changed your mind a few times, then finally decide on the right gift(s). Is it over budget? Is it the right size? Will it be used or used up/broken/thrown away within weeks?

A friend at my daughter’s school told me about her family’s plan to give EXPERIENCES rather than gifts. This appears to my minimalist heart! I prefer to have adventures over gifts as well. In my 20’s in fact, I received travel plans for birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries rather than a gift at my request. To be honest, sometimes I just planned them on my own and said: “We are going to _________________ for my birthday this year.” Done.

Now it is different. Although I do love to travel, gift giving is more important in my husband’s family. They are gifters. This means the money goes to the children, ourselves, and a few others. It is not saved for a trip, although I have managed to do a couple of small weekend trips for birthdays which is so fun. Although, my own daughter loves opening gifts so much it becomes a flurry of paper flying everywhere!

How do you celebrate the giving part of the Christmas season? Do you give or do you go? Large families can mean more travel and busy times. Do you run to stores every day stocking up for a couple of dozen people? Or just buy a few things online for your small immediate family? Do you do an angel tree or donate to a particular charity?

Whether you are taking to the stores this holiday season or searching from your couch in jammies… Happy Shopping! And if you are “going” rather than “gifting” this year….enjoy! And safe holiday travels to you.

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