Well, it is not Monday, but I wanted to share a few ideas about gift giving since it is that time of year.
As a family that practices minimalism we do not oppose gifts. Let me repeat, we do not oppose getting or giving gifts. In fact, I love giving gifts to family and friends. We give gifts to the piano teacher, karate instructors, the yard guys, our neighbors, the grandparents and a few others.
The gifts we give are usually consumable such as; a homemade
dessert, spices or a delectable drink. Usually the kids can help with this too, so it reiterates the importance of giving. For those far away from us, we choose a practical or memorable gifts such as; a handmade Christmas ornament or a magnetic cell phone holder.
When family members call and ask what the kids want, I usually offer an experience the kids want to see (a musical, play or special event) or check my Amazon list and offer a variety of price points to them as options. My Amazon list is something I keep throughout the year and as birthdays and holidays come up it is a helpful reference tool even for me.
Are you curious what we are doing this year?
This year, we are giving our three boys each three small items to open and a family snowboarding trip for three days. It will be their first experience snowboarding, so we are also getting them lessons. Their stockings will be filled with some candy/treats/root beer, all which I do not keep in the house on a regular basis. We have discussed several times about how the tree will not be full, about how many gifts they are each getting and about the family trip we are planning. We try to turn the focus to giving and celebrating the birth of Jesus rather than receiving gifts. We don't have them make lists or keep any of the toy catalogues that come in the mail.
As for family, most of them are participating in providing experiences for the kids because they understand that we are moving in six months as well and know that the less to move the better. It has taken us almost three years to get to this point with family (and some still aren't 100% compliant & that is ok).
If you are trying to cut down on the excess cheap plastic toys, help family members out by giving them the link or list. Maybe you could even provide them a Ticketmaster list of some cool experiences they could purchase and do with your children.
Christmas is a wonderful time of year to celebrate the birth of Jesus with our family & friends. Giving and receiving can be a fun way to celebrate, but please don't let it consume you and create negative feelings. Think outside the box when purchasing gifts for others. Consumables, ornaments, experiences are all great ways to give.
-Mindful Miss Mason