We have been conditioned and trained to shop and to continuously buy new things. If you celebrate Christmas, why not make it a different kind of Christmas by changing your gift-giving habits. We don’t always need those new sparkly things that we have to spend money on. All we need is a little imagination and creativity. Here are a few suggestions. After you read through the list, give it some thought and tap into your own creative mind and find a way to do make Christmas free or supportive of our local artisans and shops and find a way to make it fun!
Something old to you is always something new to someone else.
Look into your closet and pull out those clothes that you never wear. Clean them, bag them up and give them to someone who will wear them.
Jewelry – same thing. Go through your boxes and collections and select some nice pieces that someone else might enjoy.
Learn how to knit or crochet and make someone a nice scarf for the winter.
Sewing talent? Aprons are always wonderful gifts for cooks and non-cooks alike. How about the “grill master” who spends time barbecuing during the summer? He or she would probably love something like that.
Sit down with your kids and help them make some really attractive bookmarks as stocking stuffers.
Give someone a coupon to do some work for them:
– This coupon entitles you to grass cutting for the entire month of July.
– This coupon means I give Mom and break and do the dishes every Friday.
You get the idea. Don’t just give “stuff,” give of yourself, your time and your talents!
Get a gift certificate for a haircut at the local barbershop or hair salon.
Gift certificate for a dog bath or toe nail trim. Or make a coupon to do these things yourself…
Get into fun with the arts and crafts –
– Draw or sew a nice design on a tshirt
– Make a necklace or earrings
– Remember popsicles? Make a nice popsicle box for someone to store their favorite little things in.
– Cardboard boxes can be turned into great doll houses. The crafting of the furniture, the windows, the flooring can take you on an amazing creative adventure.
– Cigar boxes are great to decorate to hold little treasures. Stop into your local smoke shop and ask for an empty cigar box. Sometimes they may sell them for a dollar or so, or they might be free.
Get the idea? Christmas doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. It is not wise to take on a year or two worth of debt just to go out and buy and bunch of stuff and clutter. Get together with your girlfriends, your children, your family and talk about it. If you can see beyond the projected commercial illusion of the Christmas holiday, you’ll be alright. It might be difficult at first to be different, but being different is cool and gives you a sense of power when you can step outside of what’s considered “normal” and stand for your opinion.
This can be especially challenging for children because the Christmas pressure from other kids at school can be great. But, continual conversations will help them get through it. And, they’ll watch you and take cues from you. It’s about breaking conditioning and it can be done.
And, if you are religious and Christmas is about the birth of Christ, then nothing else matters – does it?
At my house, I don’t do Christmas trees and lights. I don’t have boxes of decorations that sit in storage for all but one month out of the year. I do, however try to rescue as many poinsettias as I can. Sounds silly, but people buy them expressly for the holiday and then throw them away. Especially at my office. So I will collect them, and then turn around and give them away to people at shelters or if I am sensing a little sadness in someone (even a complete stranger), I will give them a plant. Poinsettia bushes are beautiful. (I’m an animal and plant person anyway.)
So back to going into debt to feed the illusion of the Christmas holiday — Break the mold. Break the chain. Live life differently. And if you do celebrate, Merry Christmas.