Anyone else out there over the “gift giving” part of the season? I know I’m mostly feeling this way because as usual, I’m broke. But there is another part that would rather just enjoy my family and friends and not have to worry about finding the damn perfect present.
If you would like your holiday season to be less materialistic and more about experiences, then here’s a list of ideas to change the focus of your yuletide get-togethers.
Have each person gathered around the table or gathered around the room name something for which they are thankful. Their answers may surprise, touch or make you laugh.
Focus on the Good
Around this time of year, parents tend to focus on bad behaviors, rather than good. Switch this up. Start a new tradition that every time someone is “caught” doing something kind or thoughtful they get to add a link to a paper chain. Or they get an extra goody added to their stocking. Or they get to add a coin to a jar to give to a charity. Be creative.
Be it participating with an Angel tree or donating to Toys for Tots or some other collection, take part of that budget you usually spend on family and spend it on someone in need.
Emphasize gifts that are handmade such as pictures drawn by the kids or baked goods. Or make something as a family by going to blow glass ornaments or paint ceramics.
Gather the family together and have a gingerbread house building competition.
Seek out Guests
If you have anyone you know that would otherwise be alone during the holidays, invite them to spend time with you and yours. No one should be alone.
Visit Retirement Homes
You can go and sing carols or bring them some yummy treats. Just going to chat with the residents for a while will brighten their day and yours.
Create Festive Cards
Make cards for the letter carrier, garbage collectors, cashiers, or anyone else that you may forget to acknowledge as much as you should.
Purge for a Cause
Go through clothes and toys and donate to Goodwill, a shelter or another local charity.
Create a Memorable Experience
Play board games, color, go on a hike, have a family football game, drive around and look at lights. Focus on doing something and not getting something.
Serve food to the homeless or organize boxes of meals at a food bank.
Create Ways to Fund Raise
Come up with creative ways to raise money to donate to charities. Have a swear jar during the holiday get togethers or have the kids create gifts or goodies to sell to friends and family.
Gift of Movies
Wrap all your holiday movies and have the kids unwrap a movie each day and watch it together. You can add a new one each year to start a tradition. Make sure to stock up on popcorn and cocoa.
Vouchers for future events
For a twist on a gift, create a book of vouchers for events you can do anytime during the year. Go to the park or a museum, a day where the kids plan the itinerary, go ice skating. Make sure you make every effort to honor it when it is redeemed.
What did I miss, my creative readers? Add more suggestions in the comments below.
Skipping the stores,