How would you feel about a Christmas in which you purposefully didn’t give or receive any gifts? Would you be happy? Sad? Relieved? Would it not feel like Christmas if you didn’t have any brightly colored boxes to open and nothing under the tree?
My mom proposed the idea a few days ago and I’m not sure exactly what I think about it yet. My mom’s reasoning for no gifts is simple: we all have everything we NEED in life. The items we receive for Christmas might fill gaps in the WANT category, but they are definitely not a necessity.
Rather than spending days and days searching for the perfect gifts, she suggested giving the money we would typically spend on gifts to charity. We don’t have any details defined yet, but we could proceed in any number of ways.
Each family could simply give money to a charity of their choice, we could all pull our money together and give to one agreed upon charity or we could all chip in and adopt a specific family in need.
At first glance I love the idea. My family doesn’t go particularly overboard on gifts. We tend to stick to a relatively small budget, but my parents definitely spend more than I think they should on two grown kids, their spouses and two grandchildren.
My brother and his wife and my husband and I make much more money than my parents ever did, even in their peak earning years. If we don’t donate to charity next year I would still like to see them cut down on the amount of money they spend on Christmas.
At first I was all behind the idea. Of course, I love the idea of giving to someone in greater than need than myself, but then I wonder if it will feel strange to have Christmas without ANY gifts.
What do you think? Could you imagine a Christmas in which you gave gifts to a family of strangers, but didn’t give or receive anything from the ones you love?