Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Christmas Gifting Season

While I'm not quite ready for Christmas decorations and full on Christmas season yet, I have started giving thought to our Christmas budget. I think it's important to do that in advance so we don't end up spending way more money than we anticipated.

Did you know that Christmas is a $450 billion industry? Now don't get me wrong, I love to give and receive gifts at Christmas time, but I do think that the materialism and consumerism of our culture has gotten a bit out of hand. I doubt that when the church established Christmas as a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus, that this is how they envisioned it turning out.

Again, I'm totally not against giving or receiving gifts, or decorating or being festive. But one thing I do feel passionately about, is that as part of the richest nation in the world, we should not blow our budgets on buying tons of stuff for people who already have tons of stuff.

To me, this does not mean not giving gifts to family and friends. I get a lot of joy out of giving gifts and I know that our families do to. In fact, there are a lot of things throughout the year that Derek and I don't buy, and instead ask for for Christmas. Like clothes, books, DVDs, etc. Our luggage has been in pretty bad shape for a while now, but we have made it work through our trips this year, and intend on asking for new luggage for Christmas. So while we still plan on giving and receiving gifts this year, there are a few things that we would like to do and I would like to encourage you to consider doing as well.

1. Set an amount in advance that you would like to spend on giving gifts. And then don't spend it all on your family and friends. Spend some on gifts for family and friends, and some on gifts for those who are less fortunate, and give some of it away. There are lots of great ways that you can buy gifts for the less fortunate and great causes that you can donate some money to.

2. Buy gifts whose proceeds go towards a good cause. Whether it's buying fair trade, or buying a gift that supports an artisan in a third world country, or making a donation in honor of your recipient, there are lots of awesome ways you can give a gift that also helps someone in need.

One thing that I thought would be fun to do during this gifting season, is to post about different gift giving opportunities during the holiday season. Hopefully you'll get some new ideas for creative ways you can give gifts, as well as opportunities to give money and/or gifts to those in need. I'll be back tomorrow to highlight a really cool organization that I believe would be great to donate some Christmas money to.


chloƫ. said...

thanks for posting this! this is something that has been on my mind lately, and I will definitely be utilizing many of your tips!

Callie Nicole said...

This is a great idea, Anna! I can't wait to read more of your suggestions!