I hate stuff. Not all stuff, just the mindless, meaningless, dust collecting, environment trashing stuff. You know, the stuff that we don’t need, but that we buy anyway so that the person we’re giving said stuff to feels like they got enough. It’s ridiculous and it drives me crazy! My husband and I are working really hard on not getting out family this type of stuff and attempt to pass them off as gifts. So instead we’re focusing more on giving less gifts as well as making sure the gifts we do give are 1. meaningful and 2. experience oriented. To that end here are the gifts we’re giving the kids.
The oldest is getting a sewing class from JoAnn’s, the Redwall book series, a music player, and the Wings of Fire book series from Santa. The middle is getting a sipping and painting class, DC Super Hero Girls, 1 still to be determined gift, and the Amulet book series requested from Santa. The youngest is getting a backstage pass to the zoo, a building class, a personalized apron to go with his love of cooking, and Dr. Suess books requested from Santa. They are getting each other a single gift each, and they are getting a few to be shared items from the big man in red, but that’s it.
And what about those pesky extended family gifts you ask? Those are also experiences. For my side of the family (parents, and sister and 2 kids) we are going to Great Wolf Lodge. For my husband’s family (parents, 1 sister and 2 kids) we are also doing a resort type gift, and for his out of town sister we’re doing a dessert experience and I’m making them messy bun hats. Anybody that doesn’t fit into the immediate extended family group doesn’t get a gift. Yes that includes my great grandmother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Sorry, not sorry.
The present is the presence of family at the extended family holiday get-together. When my husband’s family did extended family get-togethers the hosting family picked a charity and participating families would gift a donation. My extended family plays games and catches up on each others lives. The one exception is that my aunt usually gets the 18 and under kids a small useful gift like a blanket. I’d much rather ooh and aah over seeing you and enjoy playing games together than pretend to love some ridiculous last-minute gift that will more than likely be re-gifted to a charity cause.
There are lots of experience ideas out there. Please trust me that the gift recipient will remember the experience, especially if it’s an experience they get to do with you, or a gift to help an experience or hobby, much more than a thing you picked up at the last minute. Think of something they like, and send them on their way. I promise it will be worth it.