Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas Is Coming...

I guess if you look around Target or any other retailer, Christmas has already been here for a couple of weeks. Can you believe they had Christmas stuff out so early?? I was laughing because there were bags of red and green wrapped candy for full price next to the orange and black wrapped identical candy on clearance on the same shelf!
I'm trying to decide what to do for Christmas this year. I'm at that age where gifts start to feel less and less important. For the adults, I mean. Jeff and I tend to buy ourselves whatever we need during the year. The other adults we celebrate with aren't lacking for things.
It would be so easy to burn through my money and spend it on gifts for my family and friends.
A "geek clock" for my brother, Ted.
A binary clock for my lovely husband...
And anything Car Talk for my brother, Daniel.
Surely I know someone who might be able to use a Doggie DNA Analysis Kit, right?
How much would Christy just adore this dangling cat necklace?
Heck, I could even buy gifts for people I don't really know! Don't you think The Pioneer Woman would love these cowgirl towels?
So many cute, fun, thoughtful things out there that would make wonderful gifts for my family and friends.
But this year, I feel like doing something different. Something I've thought about doing time and time again but have somehow never had the nerve to actually do. But I am inspired by the project I took on last year- the gift I gave my mom.
This year, instead of trying to find the perfect gift for the people in my life who already have all they need and most of what they want, I think that charitable giving will have more of an impact. I feel more of a drive to fulfill needs this year- it's been a really hard year.
I don't mean to sound preachy or anything. But I have to admit that the shopping bug hasn't yet hit me. I feel like I'm kind of doing the same thing over and over and while I know the gifts are appreciated... how many sets of hankies does my dad need? How many pairs of socks does Christy need? How many nightgowns does my mom need? I don't want to take away from the thoughtfulness of gift giving, the purpose behind it. But I also want to get back to the real purpose and thoughtfulness of it.
I have ideas of what I'd like to do this year but would love to hear any experiences of your own when you've foregone the big gift giving... have you done a "white elephant" type of thing? Secret Santas? Gifts for just the kids?
What I'd like to do is make donations on behalf of some of my family members as their gift. I'd like to take Teagan to the dollar store and let her pick out some gifts for people. And I think we might actualy tackle something new this year... Christmas baking. I think everyone we know would adore getting a gift of baked goods made by Teagan and Zach.
I have to start planning now. Leaving all of this to the last minute- which is what I usually do- won't work this year. Thought, planning, time, energy, dedication... those are all elements of the best gifts, right?


mimbles said...

I find myself completely uninterested in family gift-giving this year. I think the joy of it has been slowly eroded over recent years through various things - my parents' separation, my sister's mental health problems, my MIL's alcoholism - it just seemed to get so difficult and angst-ridden that I would really rather do away with giving gifts altogether.

I do, however, like the idea of giving things you've made, be it crafts or baking or whatever. We did manage to do that a couple of years ago but it takes so much time, especially if you're trying to do crafty stuff for everyone. Baked goods all round could work though, big batch cooking FTW!

I've been planning the Christmas party for all our friends for weeks already, that's the gift I love giving - the opportunity to get together and enjoy good company, good food and lots of cocktails. And the visit from Santa of course! Luckily we have friends with kids young enough to make that still worth doing :-)

Garret said...

With Jim and I not working, we announced "no gifts" this year. Last year we were away from friends and family so that was a "no gifts" year. A couple of years Jim and I were able to get a tag off a tree and buy a needy child shoes and another year a truck. It was a good feeling. Big Lots is a great source for inexpensive toys and what not. We've found that you have to get a name tag quickly. Sometimes they run out real early. I guess that's a good thing though.

Cup of Crazy said...

We got my BIL the binary clock a few years ago. The geekdom on that side of the family - oy.

Since I lost my job last year, Christmas is pretty minimal. Last year, Mike and I didn't buy for each other (which I'm sure will be the case this year, as well), and we didn't get anything for my parents or his brother. I did a bunch of baking and gave everyone loaves of pumpkin bread and homemade apple butter.

This year, I'm dreading. Ollie is old enough to want EVERYTHING, so there are now two that each have a list that's a whole page long. They're each getting one "big" thing from Santa (Bat Cave for Olls, something Barbie or Littlest Pet Shop for Teagan...I have no idea for the baby) and a few smaller things from us.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Last year I made donations in people's names to three charities-- It went over like a lead balloon, but I'm doing it again this year. I just can't schlepp through malls anymore and besides, times are rough and charities are hurting-- At least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.


Lori said...

I think it's really awesome that you want to reach out to those that are less fortunate instead of giving the same gifts to people that already have what they need. I think baking homemade goodies for loved ones is a great idea.

I really do think that many of us have way to much STUFF. When does this end? When do we say, enough is enough?

We have never gotten into buying a lot for christmas but it still adds up. We are thinking of doing something different this year too but not sure what yet.

Great thoughtful post!

Mrs4444 said...

Absolutely. I just don't have any money to think about shopping right now. I have no idea what I'll give my sisters, but I think we might just go with the Soup Swap thing and leave it at that.

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