This year, I vow to curb over-gifting. My mom owned a year-round Christmas store when we were growing up, so Christmas was kind of a big deal in our house. But it wasn’t until I was living in a small apartment with a two-month old baby that I realized how getting a ton of presents at the holidays can be more of a burden and less of a…gift. Plus, a giant pile of presents feels like we’re missing the true meaning of the holidays.
Over the years, I’ve tried to curb over-gifting—in both what we get and what we give. And I’ve come up with five ideas on how to give this holiday without overdoing it.
Give gift cards
Let’s start with an easy one. In my family, gift cards were considered a copout (and that you didn’t put a lot of thought into your present), but it’s just not true. My adult self wants nothing more than a gift card to pick out exactly what I want, and you can make them thoughtful (and local) too.
Give an experience
I’ve given up trying to find my husband the perfect gift. So, I started giving “experiences.” Experiences can include a special dinner out, a show or concert, or a weekend away. For the kiddos, it can be a holiday show at the Music Hall or a trip to Santa’s Village. Giving an experience doesn’t mean you can’t have something under the tree. Make a gift certificate, wrap it and tell them all about the (super exciting) plan.
Give just one gift
After getting over-gifted for many Christmases, I made a rule that each person could only give one gift to each person. Because more was always better in my house growing up, my family was shocked. But giving just one makes you really think about it and makes it even more special.
Give to someone else
Our daughter loves getting presents (what kid doesn’t?!), but because she’s the only kid and the only grandkid, it can get excessive. Emphasize giving to others. Ask relatives to wrap one or two gifts for your kids and wrap one or two to donate to another family. Then have your children take part in donating the wrapped presents. Here are some other great ways to give to people locally:
Donate to wishlist items to Haven NH
Host a food drive for NH Food Bank
Our daughter’s birthday is in November, so we get the double whammy when it comes to presents. She loves all her gifts, but her absolute favorite present was a framed picture of her and her two besties from school. And since we rarely print photos anymore, giving a framed photo of a special moment can be an affordable but incredibly special gift. This is usually a big hit with grandparents (and parents too!) And if you’re due for a family photo session, check out our Photography Guide for amazing recommendations!