A Very Different Christmas

Last year I created a gift-giving guide for Christmas to share the different ways I handle this portion of the season. This year has hit us all hard, in one way or another, and even though that guide is still very valid, I wanted to take into consideration that we can’t meet in large groups, not as many people might be travelling to see family and friends, and some might not have funds to allocate to gifts. I hope that these suggestions are helpful to you.

  1. Skip gifts. Someone reached out asking me for a gift suggestion, and I said that we could skip the exchange if she wanted to, that I was fine either way. She wanted to participate so we will be doing it. On the other hand, my sister had the same conversation with her friend and they decided that their friendship was enough and that they didn’t need to do gifts. Be open and speak to those around you about a plan.
  2. Share a treat. Christmas cookies anyone? You can make some of these yourself and deliver them. You can also create a do-it-yourself package with brownie mix or hot chocolate and marshmallows. If you are meeting a group of people, you can make a dish for all of them and present it as your gift to them.
  3. Buy something useful. I acknowledge that it might not have a lot of pizzazz, but it can bring so much gratefulness. Think of how maybe you don’t want to spend money on pajamas for yourself, but you do appreciate how comfortable they are and how they make going to bed a nicer experience. A hand-held vacuum for someone with a dog or a baby or even a pair of cozy socks can go a long way. Don’t underestimate the power in practicality.
  4. Send some cash. In the same vein of being practical, think that the best gift might actually be helping to keep the lights on. You might not feel comfortable asking to pay for something specific, and cash can be the answer to that. Send a check, put bills in a card, or even Venmo it. It is not a tacky gift and can help someone more than a wrapped item.
  5. Donate to a fund as a family or group. Instead of individual gifts, pick an organization to help those you don’t know. Many people don’t have the means to make ends meet. Donating to a local fund that helps people pay utilities or get some groceries can be a new tradition that everyone can chip into as they can and will help those around you. It can also help your family not spend as much as well. (You can check this website for organization ideas.)
  6. Buy them a coffee or a donut. Instead of gifting a whole meal, get a portion of it with a small-value gift card. Everyone enjoys some sort of snack, whether it be a tea, a donut, a smoothie, or an ice cream. Any excuse to treat oneself will put a smile on.
  7. Offer a service. This idea actually comes from a birthday gift where on the card, they offered babysitting services. What a sweet treat! If you know someone that needs help painting a room, decluttering their closet, or pressure washing their house, offer to help. If you think that it is too little, think of how much is charged for that service and it might actually be your highest-ticket gift on the list.
  8. Share a life-changing book. A little bit of wisdom goes a long way. If you have read a book that has edified you (find some of mine here) and you know that the receiver would be interested, go ahead and share the love. This gift can keep on giving.
  9. Get them a journal. There is so much power in writing. It helps us plan, process our thoughts, and keep tabs on ourselves. Encourage someone to write with a specific frequency or even to simply start putting down the ideas for their dream company or job.
  10. Equip for a spa day. We need ways to relax in the heavily-stressed environment we are living in. You can create a nice basket with a facial mask, a lotion, and a small candle, and even a chocolate bar.
  11. Spend time together safely. Christmas is not about stuff, but about God’s gift to us in a savior. Be thankful for your heavenly blessing. If needed, quarantine ahead of time and safely share Christmas with those you care. We all need the support and warmth.

Please feel free to share any other ways that you will be sharing with your own this season. We will all appreciate it!

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