December 4, 2016
Over the years, I have radically cut back on the number of gifts I give and receive. Most of the time I don't need more stuff, and the people I know usually don't need more stuff, either. One year I wrote a letter to my extended family, letting them know that Hubby and I would no longer be participating in the annual gift exchange. I'm sure they were relieved. We certainly were.
There are still times when a gift is needed. For example, if we go to a party, we want to bring something for our hosts. Consumable items like homemade cookies, baskets of holiday treats, or bottles of wine don't create lasting household clutter, and are something most people will enjoy.
There are other times when opting out may not be possible or desirable, because the gift-giving ritual has a lot of emotional meaning to the parties involved.
Last December I wrote a post called Don't Give Bad Christmas Gifts, with some thoughts about how to choose gifts that will bring real pleasure to our loved ones. I also discussed some ways to avoid getting bad gifts.
I have also written about the importance of charitable gifts, and how much it means to remember those in need.
In any case, we can all cut back on holiday stress by remembering that material things are not nearly as important as the values that guide our lives and the love we share.