Here we are! Christmas……Christmas…..Christmas……. I can honestly say is one of my favourite times of the year. It’s not the gifts, it’s not even the actual day, it’s the whole season. It’s the get-togethers, the music, the yummy baking and hot apple cider. For some of us, it’s the snow and the decorations for others it’s the escape down south. The smell of the turkey and the anticipation of the stuffed tummy coma right after in front of the fireplace with no guilt what so ever is part of what makes Christmas a fun time of year. We don’t count calories because we don’t care after all it’s the holidays..
When it comes to guilt though this year I am hearing a lot about the subject of gifts. When asking if people are getting ready and looking forward to Christmas all I hear are the endless groans and sighs of how much they have to buy and that they have no clue or for that matter even time to come up with ideas on what to get for this person or that. I don’t hear at all that they are baking or listening to the music or planning the typical fun car trip with the kids to check out the Christmas lights. Some people are not even putting up Christmas decorations…..ok that was me…., but I caved and we put up already more than I planned! This week I finally decided not to put up a tree in the city because we have the tree at the cottage. I have since caved as it looks like not putting it up will ruin someone’s Christmas in my house, oh the drama!
I digress, now if we are going to look at drama though I think we need to look at the whole concept of gift-giving. Why so much? Why does it have to be crazy? Hey, I not innocent, I LOVE a lot of gifts under the tree, however I think it is more the look than anything. Let’s face it, wrapping up a Costco bag of socks and sticking it under the tree looks good! Don’t laugh, one Christmas I thought I should stop with the socks and again the drama! “Where are the socks? We always get socks!” Spoiled kids!
In the hopes of helping some of us to get more in the spirit and enjoy the season, here are some ideas of mine and some with the help of a list that came from a friend who posted it on facebook. Thanks Caroline! Hopefully these ideas can cut back on the stressful time you’ll spend trying to come up with your own ideas.
- I have always advocated giving the gift of experiences more than anything. Such as gift certificates to the movies, plays, ballets, zip-lining, laser tag, spas, massages. Now we often think that the gift certificate is just that; for example a movie pass for one, how about you add to the gift that you will take them to the movie yourself, so not only are you giving the certificate you are giving your time, which let’s be honest, is worth more than the gift certificate could ever be. Same thing goes if you decide to get a certificate to a restaurant. Pick a restaurant you like and take them yourself. Some of you will be thinking; ‘No way! Gift certificate that’s it! I’m not adding my extremely valuable time to it too!’ Then that is when we have to think, why are we giving a gift in the first place?
- Back to the list; how about a 3 month gym membership?……you know I’m going to suggest it……go with them for a visit or two……or more!!! Hair cuts…..(I’m a little iffy on this one since I have my preferred hairdresser) How about taking their car to get cleaned.
- One suggestion from the list I really liked was having the driveway plowed or if you’re a kid how about offering to shovel your grandparents drive-way as a gift for the winter or ok… a month…whatever! a week will be appreciated too! What about a golf membership or a pass for day golfing? Hmmm….I know a lot of people who would LOVE a cleaning lady for a day. If you can’t afford a cleaning lady as a gift, why not offer your own services?
- Concert tickets are always fun if the timing works out and you can’t go wrong with event tickets like hockey for the sport fanatic. These are memories that you can be giving as opposed to ‘things’ that you don’t know if they need, like, love or even want.
- You know it’s happened some of us have received gifts we’ve already given as gifts……ooops! I guess they forgot. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for re-gifting! Absolutely go for it, but remember who at least gave it to you! Here’s another clue, they can’t really re-gift a memory (i.e. gift card for an experience or a job like raking leaves or food).
- Now, I know I have to be somewhat realistic; it’s not going to be all gift certificates under the tree. Try checking out the local Christmas bazaar for fun crafts preferably not in the ‘clutter your life’ category! Baked goodies are great and why not bake some yourself, not only will you be creating a great and appreciated gift but your house will smell like a bakery!! Who doesn’t like that?
Hopefully you’ve found some ideas that will work for you or might even generated some other ideas, please share! We all could use some help coming up with great experience gift giving ideas! Since you’ve saved soooo much time with gifts this year now it’s time to plan the fun stuff to do on your MTM calendar!…….I know I know…I didn’t even talk about the stockings! Don’t get me started!