This year, Kyle and I decided not to do Christmas gifts. What?! I know. Ridiculous. Grinch-esque.
We have everything we could possibly need, and most of what we want. And for the things we don’t have? We can get into a car and go get them ourselves. We also have pretty big financial goals that we have been slowly hacking away at, and making room in our budget for gifts? Eh. It just didn’t seem appealing.
Hear me out.
How many times have you received a gift, only to get home and promptly put it in the Goodwill bin? Me too – more than I can count. What’s the point of spending an absurd amount of money on gifts that people may or may not use, just to receive gifts that we may or may not use? As I get older, it seems silly. Conspicuous consumption and all that.
To me, this season is about reconnecting with the important people in your life who might get lost in the shuffle of our busy schedules. For those of us who love giving gifts, choosing NOT to give gifts can be a huge struggle.
BUT HAVE HOPE. There ARE other ways to show someone you are thinking about them. I love doing this by sending holiday cards. Unfortunately, I was NOT on top of it this year (let’s blame grad school, just for fun). So I am going to get started early for next year! Please send me your name & address & I will add you to our holiday card list.
Now, don’t panic.
All dogs and children in the family were still shopped for this year. And, in reducing the number of people we bought gifts for, we actually had WAY more fun than in Christmas’ past. We also had room in the budget to give more to people and organizations who won’t promptly then use their Goodwill bins.
For example, we partnered with Refugee Services of Texas to host a family from Afghanistan. They are new to Austin, new to the U.S., and have a new baby coming! What is more fun than shopping for a new baby? Seriously, nothing. It feels fantastic knowing that the time and money we put into these gifts will be appreciated and utilized. Plus, it allows us to get our annual gift-wrapping craving satisfied.
We were also able to donate to fantastic organizations such as Extollo International and, a long-time favorite, Okipe. I would highly recommend checking these groups out. Not only does it feel great to give to organizations who are changing people’s lives, but the universe repays you for doing good. What goes around comes around and all that. It’s Alana-Science (more on that later).
This holiday season, I encourage you to do what feels right to you.
If you want to buy a million gifts, fantastic! If you want to give your wallet a break, equally fantastic! You do you and don’t let anyone dissuade you from doing your thing. This is a season for reconnecting to our beliefs and values, reconnecting to our loved ones, and reconnecting to what brings us joy. It’s okay for this season to look different for everyone.
Happy holidays! I hope we will reconnect soon.