Christmas Gifting? I’m Aiming for Somewhere Between Bougie and Scrooge-y

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My Christmas lights aren’t up yet, nor are my stockings hung by the chimney with care…and I’m stressing out about the amount of money I’ve already shelled out in the name of festivity this holiday season and I’m dreading all the spending that is to come trying to get everyone covered on my Christmas list.

I won’t go on a tirade about how “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” and how increasingly commercialized and over-the-top the holidays become each year- although I do believe that to be true. I know not everyone celebrates Christmas as a religious celebration but I do know that one of the most distinguishing traits of Christmas is the presents.

While my family finances are not in total dire straits, having to buy gifts for everyone and their dog does put a strain on the ol’ checkbook, as well as the credit cards.

I love the whole getting and giving of gifts to an extent, but at some point, it all becomes too much.

I want people to feel appreciated but I also hate feeling obligated to buy for people not in my own little circle. If you have the means and desire to give gifts to your postal worker, delivery drivers, hairdresser, bikini waxer, hamster groomer, and goldfish masseuse – go for it.

However please don’t expect me to be able to match your generosity. It’s difficult enough to try not to feel lame buying teacher gifts when some of the fancy pants parents can drop $50 like it’s nothing.

As far as gift-giving within my own family, I think for siblings/cousins/ex-stepbrothers/etc. I’d prefer to draw names and buy for one person with a set monetary guideline. We could fill out little questionnaires about our likes/dislikes and not only would we be more likely to get and give presents that are actually enjoyable and useful, but we could get to know each other a little better in the process.

I personally would rather focus more of my efforts on the kiddos in my life and those adults dearest to me instead of going bankrupt buying impersonal obligatory gifts just so I don’t feel like a creep for not doing so.

I also wouldn’t mind scaling back a bit with my own children. They are good kids for the most part – truly they are – but I have to say I am getting frustrated with the endless wishlist for mommy and Santa that I’m accosted with each day. I want them to have happy times and good memories, so I hate to crush their little hearts but sometimes I just want to say ENOUGH! You have enough, so much so you have more than you could ever play with and so many things that they “just had to have” lay around completely neglected.

So I am really trying to be more mindful and do little activities here and there versus just going all in for just one or two nights of Christmas.

I got a couple of knock-off Shelf Elves and I plan to do some activities using them that aren’t extravagant but are still just as fun. A life-size robot is cool and all, but driving the fam around to look at Christmas lights in your flannel PJs while sipping cocoa and serenading my tiny tots with my NSync Christmas cd from high school is nothing to sneeze at either.

Perhaps we should all focus less on what we feel we are expected by society and social media to do and focus more on doing things that will be healthier for us mentally, spiritually, and financially after the wadded-up gift wrap goes in the dumpster and the new year approaches.

What are some inexpensive and exciting activities that you do with your family? I’d love to add them to my list.

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