SPOILERS: There are a few members of my family that read this (Hi mom!) You might want to wait until after Christmas to read this one.
It’s snowing. Yes, on December 8th, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA it is snowing. It truly is the end of the world. Regardless of our impending doom, let’s talk about the holidays. In fact, let’s interrupt my normal every two to three day posting cycle in favor of talking today. This is the follow up for a surprisingly popular post about giving less on Christmas. You can read that here.
It’s Snowing in the South!
First off, unless you are from the South you might not understand why we treat snow like we do. It never snows.
I can count the number of times I’ve seen snow on my hands, including traveling (I don’t travel often in the winter.)
Right now though, it’s really snowing, like hard. And we have a Vizsla. A very unhappy Vizsla. Once it got hard enough for him to see outside the window, he started barking at it. Then we had to go out and see it. Then he decided he liked it even less.
It’s been a morning.
Done Gift Shopping….
This year, we did things a little different.
Below is a letter I made (graphics & up, I know it’s not 100% spellchecked) and have put in with the gifts we are giving everyone. In total, we spent about $31 and about 2 hours of cooking and wrapping to complete 10 gifts. We printed this, added names to the tag on top, and added them to the bags.
I also made a second letter, this one to people who did not receive a physical gift. This one was a bit different but expressed the same idea.
Feel free to do this with your gifts like we did. Make a coupon for them to use. Giving the gift of time is the most intimate gift you can get someone. It’s the best deal too!
Ideas for Frugal Gifts!
With storytelling and whatnot aside, I have a few ideas for those not quite done with shopping. These are frugal ideas that will help you to save money and get more meaning from the holiday (see the other post I was talking about) while still getting something physical.
Food: From baking brownies to gifting something as simple as coffee pods, food is something simple that shows you know the person. It’s giving something that they already use and love.
Handmade Spa Stuff: For one person, we are giving a handmade bar of soap. Things like this from a single bath bomb to a few face masks are cheap (our bar of soap was $4.50) yet mean just as much as something nicer. It’s was to say that you love the other person, they should relax and enjoy themselves. For those with an obsession with bathroom spa stuff (like me) it also gives them something you know they really enjoy.
Small “Gag” Gifts: I’ve talked about never getting something someone will just get rid of. That’s why there are “” around gag. For someone (who shouldn’t be reading this before Christmas) I got Cat Wine. It’s like wine that a cat can drink. While this may seem pointless, for the person that I got this, it means more than another shirt or necklace.
Re-Giving: Here comes the controversial stuff. Four people this year are getting something used and not new. Two of those are White elephant gifts that were going to goodwill anyway, but the other two are going as real Christmas gifts. To many people this is rude, to us, it’s awesome. For example, we’re giving *spoilers* a wax warmer (used by us for half a year) to a set of grandparents and a UGA hoodie (from the 70s) to MadMan’s sister. Rather than give these away for someone to sell, we decided to give them to people that would take more meaning and use out of them than us. I’m by no means saying give your junk away, but if you have something that you know someone else would love and you’re about to give it away, why not gift it to them?
Tips for gift giving:
Local Tip: While we got this from amazon, another option is local craft fairs and shops as well as farmers markets.
Amazon Tip: I didn’t pay for the Cat Wine or handmade soap. Rather, I traded in some old books and electronics to Amazon and got a $70 gift card instantly (before I even sent the stuff in.) Whether you want to get something for yourself or save money buying gifts, amazon trade in is a great way to sell stuff with zero hassle.
Allergy Tip: If you don’t know the person’s allergy (or if they are allergic to anything) food might not be the way to go.
Something on the Touchy Side
Politics. I never thought they would be in the holidays.
What do I call it? Holidays.
Because I celebrate my birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s in December. Because I have friends the celebrate Hanukkah and others that celebrate just New Years. Because I’m atheist and Christmas is one of the smaller things I do in December. Spending time with family all throughout the season is what matters to me.
What do I tell other people?
Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. It really depends on how I feel and who I’m talking to.
In the end though, does it really matter? Does fighting about this add value to anyone’s life? I’ll be happy with Happy Holidays Merry Christmas or even Happy Hanukkah, I’ll thank you for being friendly and wishing me a good season.
Maybe we should all just be happy and let others be happy too.