Photo credit: harakiri
How about NO gifts?
Having a no gift policy may seem like a downer for some people, but it can be a welcomed change. There is no pressure to shop for the “perfect” gift, you don’t have to have a Christmas gift budget, no standing in line at the retail stores and post offices, and no clutter from useless gifts. Another policy could be gifts for the kids only.
Present the idea to your immediate and extended family in a positive way and highlight the benefits of a no gift policy. Emphasize spending the precious (and many times short) time with friends and family instead of feeling the pressure of gift giving. It could make it easier financially for everyone to get together during the holidays. The gift of family. The gift of love and togetherness. Maybe you can pool the money together and help out a family member who is in dire need.
You can also donate the gift money to a charity of your choosing individually or as a family.
I also love the idea Marelisa wrote in her comment from the previous blog post on holiday gifts. Offering services such as babysitting, housecleaning, shelving snow, etc in lieu of a material gift is a wonderful idea that would definitely be put to good use and not go to waste.
Buy Nothing Christmas ’06 has 59 alternatives to spending money this holiday season.