I didn’t buy everyone in my life a present this year.
I bought a few things for my kids that they asked for but didn’t go overboard.
I picked up a few small items that I found for certain people along the way.
But I did not set out to buy every single person a present.

I did not want to stress over gifts so much this year that I resented Christmas altogether. I didn’t want to waste money on things they didn’t want or need but I felt I HAD t buy. The pressure is so heavy to make sure everyone gets the “perfect” gift and trying to stretch every dollar I have. It makes me dread the Christmas holiday. Like, I seriously don’t enjoy it anymore.

Does it have to be about Gift Giving?

If I got you something it’s because I thought of you when I saw it. I found a gift that I wanted to give you, not a gift I had to give you. And if I got you nothing then just know I value your time over material things. I would much rather have you over for Christmas dinner and enjoy your company than do a gift exchange of some forced purchase because you didn’t want to come empty-handed.

I don’t expect gifts from anyone either, let alone in return for something I chose to give them. Please don’t choose between getting me a gift and having extra grocery money.

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I would rather you eat.

Even gifts I have chosen to give my children are minimal. After 11 Christmases as a parent, I have learned the hard way that they only end up playing with one or two things and the remaining end up at a garage sale in the spring.
I just want to spend time with my family.

Chat, eat, drink, maybe play a game. If you can’t find anything for me (or can’t afford it), please don’t stress. Dropping by for coffee or dinner sometime is more valuable to me. And if you did happen to pick something up, I am grateful you thought of me. That’s what a gift is supposed to be, a thoughtful gesture not and forced tradition.

Start a new giving tradition. Give thanks for each other, give time to each other, give kindness and compassion. Give people hope that there is more to the holiday season than unavoidable debt.