Don’t Give Holiday Gifts
Not to get on your nerves, but there are 19 days left until Christmas. And not to speculate about you, but you probably still need to buy gifts for your mom, dad, siblings, nieces and nephews, friends, significant other, secret Santa in the office, white exchange book club. elephants and that one aunt who always gives you a snow globe.
As visions of dollar signs and Amazon browser tabs start dancing maniacally in your head, let us introduce an alternative. Save your wallet, your blood pressure and, frankly, your soul by not buying gifts for any of them.
Giving gifts is fine in theory, but rarely truly rewarding, especially when it comes to distant friends and family. You can love and care for each other, but that doesn’t mean you know about headphones or throw pillows that have been eyeing each other, and you probably don’t share the kind of closeness that allows you to say, “This not really my type, but thanks! “Which is normal and understandable! But it begs the question: why are we all forcing each other to go through this? What if we all agreed to just give up the ritual? Wouldn’t that bring a special holiday mood?”
Before you start clinging to the idea of offering this to your loved ones and subsequently getting a Scrooge label, we have alternatives! Suggest, for example, pooling your money for a group outing (did you know this is very trendy these days ?) Or ask everyone to choose their favorite charity and donate to each other. When it comes to your significant other, offer to invest in something for you as a couple (be it a fancy coffee maker or a party). Or you can take a line from Lifehacker’s Nick Douglas and at least soften the gift-giving frenzy by organizing a secret Santa Claus family exchange so that everyone can only buy one gift that solves all sorts of problems.
Then there is the most radical alternative: don’t waste your money. After all, there are many other ways to outwardly express your love, gratitude, and joy. Instead of a massive exchange of gifts, you and your loved ones could trim the tree, cook a big dinner together, listen to Christmas music, or take a drive to watch the lights in the area. For those in the distance, there are Skype calls, emails, Facebook messages and, you know, other non-consumption forms of human communication. It may not be literally wrapped in a bow, but, as the old Grinch himself realized, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from the store .“
It should be said that gifts in and of themselves are not necessarily a problem – if you feel obligated to give, you should! Especially when it comes to people you really want to thank, like the teachers, the postmen, the kids in your life, or your best friend at work. The problem lies with the holiday-specific exchange, not a simple expression of appreciation or affection.
If you plan to give up gifts this year, start to act is now , and remember that the main thing – do not treat it as a death, but rather as a chance to do something new. You should prepare yourself to manage people’s feelings (many of us are already too used to this), but people are likely to be offended less than you think, especially if you think less about banishing your favorite holiday ritual, and more about putting on a fresh Snowy spin. Everyone loves to say that the thought is important, so whether you want to stop pretending to be that thought or want to find a way to better reflect it, no one can blame you for trying to bring some sincerity to the festive bosom.