Commercialization of the Christmas/solstice season can be distressing to parents, family, and friends. Coming to an agreement with family members about limiting spending relieves spending stress, and simplifies the shopping experience. Planning your shopping in advance to one or two venues saves time and money.
Small Gifts Are Meaningful
The pressure of advertising can be stressful for parents but over-spending on expensive gifts gives children unrealistic expectations. Involving them in creating gifts and helping them plan their shopping experience within a reasonable budget will help them learn responsible spending habits. Equally important will be their experience of pleasure when recipients of their gifts express appreciation for their efforts. A family evening making candy or small gifts kindles the real spirit of Christmas in everyone. Bring out the mulled apple cider and shortbread and watch the smiles all around.
Most people feel honoured when someone they care about has taken the time to choose a simple gift that speaks to their uniqueness. A small object, handmade or purchased, decorative or useful, that is a daiily reminder of caring gives pleasure throughout the year.
A child will be momentarily thrilled if a large, well advertised object is under the tree Christmas morning, but something that lasts and is useful gives long-term pleasure. Inexpensive children’s gifts are available and worth researching.
Take some time to investigate possibilities close to home where you will find a wide variety of gifts. This might be a locally owned book store, fund-raising sales of candies and baking, local theatre/restaurant gift certificates, or small businesses that offer gift certificates. Plan to find gifts for everyone at one or two venues that you enjoy visiting.
Most communities hold craft sales well in advance of Christmas. These sales provide a wonderful opportunity to support local artists and discover unique and useful gifts for your loved ones. Strolling around the craft tables and socializing with others who share this spirit of giving is inspiring and pleasant. There will be something for everyone on your list and you will be spared the crush of shoppers rushing around the mall.
Local art galleries and community theatre groups are another source of gifts, where gift certificates and local art are available in pleasant surroundings. These are the things that we rarely purchase for ourselves, but a ticket to community theatre or an art object from a gallery is something that will be appreciated well into the new year.
Reduce the demands on your time, your expenditures, and increase the pleasure you and your family derive from this season of giving and loving.