The No New Gifts Holiday Challenge

I came across this marvelous Challenge on Zen Habits this morning and simply had to share!

Some of you may know my trouble with Christmas. (In fact I wrote several posts in the lead up to my Christmas melt-down: Feasting, Sustainability, Can you be both?, and Be Greener that culminated in me opting-out of many traditional Christmas activities, and subsequently reclaiming my holiday sanity.)

I have gotten over it mostly, and have even already sent cards to many Canadian friends. Watch out when you get a card on Dec 1st! New record for me, usually it’s closer to Jan 1st! (Thanks to Marlo for introducing me to Send-Out-Cards. Very cool.)

Last year we toned down our Christmas travel by only attending a couple of family events – not all of them, and also went easy on present last year thanks to the famiy drawing names for the second year in a row. I have to say, last Christmas was great!

This year names have been drawn again, and this time it was suggested we draw names when we are all together this year, rather than waiting until October-November and then we are time-crunched looking for presents. Good idea!

Mat and I have also only committed to spending Christmas with his family, since we spent it with mine last year. We will try to get to the family event, but again, no traipsing all over the country-side.

It seems I have let go of much of my Christmas pet hates and am kind of looking forward to this Christmas! In fact, at Mat’s encouraging, have even ordered a real genuine living Christmas tree this year!

Right about now you’re asking, “Who are you, and what have you done to the real Andrea?”

Oh, listen, I still think the corporate machine is killing us softly, and so do a lot of other people – go the 99% who are making the statement!!  Anywho, here’s another way to press the opt-out button I was looking for. I don’t know how many of my family would buy into it, but I bet there’s a few who would be interested.

After a too-long-winded introduction, here it is:

The No New Gifts Holiday Challenge.

What is this crazy challenge? It’s simple — follow all these rules:

  1. Buy no new gifts during the holidays.

Wait, whaaat? Don’t fret, there are alternatives:

  • Make gifts, like crafts or construction type gifts.
  • Bake or cook consumable gifts like cookies.
  • Give the gift of your service — wash cars, give a massage, babysit, clean a house, mow lawns, etc.
  • Buy used gifts at thrift stores.
  • Donate to charity, as a group.
  • Volunteer at a charity together.
  • Have a shared experience together.
  • Create something, together, instead of consuming.
  • Give to others things you don’t need (a good sewing machine, etc.).
  • Find gratitude for what we already have.

via » The No New Gifts Holiday Challenge :zenhabits.

It may be too late for this Christmas, but that’s my next year’s Christmas present plan! 🙂

If you’re keen and into this, check out this complimentary post: “The Case Against Buying Christmas Presents.”

What are your plans for Christmas? How do you feel about the holidays? Have you had to change your perspective or traditions to feel more personally in tune with the holidays? Or are you a die-hard Santa fan? 🙂

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