Obligatory gift giving can suck the joy out of the holiday season. We often exchange presents with the people we love simply because it is expected. This year, make a resolution give gifts that add value to their life instead of creating clutter. Here are some ways to get started: 1. Set a limit – Talk to the people you usually exchange gifts with about limits. Set a maximum dollar amount, or agree on one gift per person. Put everyone’s name in a hat and select just one person to buy for. The fewer gifts everyone has to purchase, the more thoughtful each one will be. 2. Manage expectations for kids – Think about your favorite holiday memories from childhood. Family traditions, food, and the people you spent time with are likely remembered much more than the presents you received. Show kids what is important by setting realistic expectations about gifts. Some parents try the approach of one gift each for a want, a need, something to wear and something to read. Also, getting children involved in donating to a family in need teaches them a valuable lesson about the true spirit of the season. 3. Give gifts that aren’t things – Give experiences instead of stuff, such as a dinner out, tickets to a concert or play, a spa treatment, or an outdoor adventure. Consumable gifts show you care without adding to their clutter. Treat your loved ones to some really good coffee, wine, balsamic vinegar, or chocolate. Buying these things locally has the added benefit of supporting small businesses in your area! 4. Quit it altogether – If you feel gift-giving between family, friends, or co-workers has become a burden, chances are other people do, too. Propose an alternative, such as chipping in for special food or drinks at your holiday celebration. Another idea is to take the money you would normally spend on presents and donate it to a cause that has special meaning to your group.
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