I love this season of Christmas! I love all the excitement, the decor, the community, the food….all of it. But being totally honest with you…..I don’t love all the stuff. And the excessive need to feel like I have to spend money and that I have to buy more.
The last few years, I’ve tried to cut back on the amount of gifts I buy my kids and it still seems like it was too much. The kids were over unwrapping presents before they were even done and without a doubt they would find the 1-2 things they loved the most, and the rest of the toys or gifts would go piled up in the corner untouched. It felt so wasteful.
But I wanted something more….
I think what I love most about Christmas is the time with my family…the traditions we’ve made. We bought an advent calendar that we put little activities to do in each day for the month of December. Each day we do something different. It ranges from making paper snowflakes to going to the live reenactment of Jerusalem to buying a gift for someone in need and giving it away. THESE are the things I love about this holiday season.
The moments together that we will treasure forever.
So I wanted to share with you some ideas…if you are like me…..so over the clutter, cleaning up the toys a few days after Christmas If you are ready to trade the frantic anxiousness of buying for everyone on your list, and scrambling to get a gift for the random person that gave you one that you didn’t get a gift for first….for doing something different.
You want to FEEL this season and love spending time with your family.
To relax, sing carols, sip on cocoa, and watch your children’s face light up with wonder and awe…..And to give the very best to your family? That very best thing is YOU!
So slow down…put the shopping on hold and find some ways to love your family differently this holiday season.
Here are a few gift ideas that go beyond the culture of buying
- A weekend getaway
- A membership to the zoo, the amusement park, museum, rock climbing gym, or whatever
- Tickets to a concert, play or theater or even just to the movies
- The gift of experience with activities such as horseback riding lessons, music lessons, swim classes, art classes
- Passes to national or state parks
- Kids Night In Box Subscription
- A trip to the spa (even young girls would love getting a mani and pedi with you)
- A fun experience such as indoor skydiving, a mystery date night, a tandem bicycle ride, mining for gold or some other experience. Groupon is a great place to find ideas
- Paint your own pottery night
- Donate through a charity. I love how World Vision let’s you pick a specific animal, medical kit, or similar to send to a family in a country of need. Charity Water is another amazing charity that allows you to see exactly where your dollars are being used.
I guess overall….it’s about embracing the spirit of gratitude and giving more than receiving. But instead of giving tangible gifts….
it’s giving the gift of your time.
That is THE most valuable gift you can give.