Tuesday, November 12, 2013

To Gift, or Not to Gift?

I love the holidays! I love all the family, food and cold weather! But I’m a bit of a scrooge because I don’t do gifts. 

This isn’t an issue throughout the year because my husband jumped on the no-gifting rule the second I brought it up. I mean really, a guy just finds out that he’s off the hook for shopping on all major holidays – jackpot! (I’m pretty sure he married me because of this and my cooking.)

But just because we don’t do gifts doesn’t mean we don’t celebrate. We celebrate with shared experiences. We eat. We travel. We do something we love or something we’ve always wanted to do, like skydive or fly a plane. We do things we that we’ll remember. 

Back to the holidays. It’s harder around this time of the year for obvious reasons. My friends and family have added my no-gifting rule to my list of quirks, but since the Great Recession, people seem to be embracing the no-gifting idea. 

This year, my aunt and uncle invited us to theirs for Christmas and it has been agreed upon by everyone that it will be about family, food and fun, no gifts allowed. 

In my experience, no-gifting actually adds to the holidays because it eliminates the stress of trying to find the perfect gift, that’s within your budget, that expresses exactly how much you love and appreciate that person, that they don’t already have. 

It also eliminates the awkward moment when everyone opens their presents and the gift that you spent so much effort, time and money on, receives a polite smile because for one reason or another, it isn’t exactly what they wanted or vice versa. Either way, you're both left unfulfilled and/or unhappy, because of something that was supposed to bring joy. 

And of course, no-gifting reduces your budget during these high spending months, well unless you self-gift, which I do believe in. This is a great time of the year to get screaming deals on the things that you’ve wanted all year long. And the best part is that get exactly what you want. 

In my experience, no-gifting takes some getting used to, but overall it makes the holidays less stressful and it puts the focus back on spending quality time with loved ones. 

How do you feel about holiday gifts?  
-Leah Schonlank

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