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Mommy Musings: Thoughts and Opinions, Twins/Toddler Tuesday

Why We Are Not Giving Gifts This Christmas

no-gift-300x280I started working when I was sixteen. Unlike my friends who spent money on nights out partying, dinners or vacations I always believed in spending my money on tangible items. Objects I could hold on to, that would serve me like a sweater that would keep me warm or a car that would get me to school and work, things memories just don’t do. Most of the money went to school but what didn’t went to cars and clothes and computers.

As I got older and had a family of own that I started to change my opinions about the value of things. I began to realize my philosophy was not as great as I thought it was. Life was about living, and not the accumulation of material objects. Objects are never as good as you imagine them; they depreciate in value, break and eventually get thrown away. Memories, on the other hand, stay with you in your mind and heart, and only seem to get better as the years pass by.

I am not sure whether it is the fact that my house looks like a Toys R Us catalogue already or that my husband’s family is just on the same wave length as me, but this year we decided to do things differently. Instead of buying gifts for each other we were going to plan an experience. I mean really, what can you buy that is a reasonably priced gift for someone who they couldn’t already but themselves? In our case specifically, we could not really go on a trip with the three littles by ourselves without it being 99% work.

My father in law and my SIL’s boyfriend are Leafs fans and my husband and his mother are Montreal Canadians fans so we decided to take the family to Montreal to do some sightseeing and go to a hockey game. I can’t tell you how excited I am. Not only will we get to go on a vacation, I will get to do it with family, which is really what Christmas is about.

We are not actually going until February which is when we could all get the time off but that doesn’t matter to us. One thing that does matter is that as Christmas gets closer and closer I realize what a relief it is to not have to worry about buying Christmas gifts for everyone. In fact, everyone likes the idea so much that we were sitting around the kitchen table yesterday night thinking about places we could go in future years and boy was it fun.

Now before you go calling social services, my kids have a huge family to get tons of presents from and his family is still getting (practical) gifts for the kids (after all it is Christmas). Plus my husband and the twins have January birthdays which they will get spoiled on as well.

Whether you think I am crazy or a genius, I hope that by reading this post you will reconsider the way you think about the holidays or even life in general. We have been so much happier since we have put the focus on doing things as a family rather than buying “stuff”. We cancelled the cable and bought a membership to the Science Centre. We go out every day on our days off, even if it’s just for breakfast at Tim Hortons.  And at the end of the day, when I collapse in bed, exhausted but happy I think to myself, “if this were my last day I would die with no regrets about how I lived it”.

Namaste,

Shannon

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About Shannon

I am a university educated full-time working mother of four children. Proudly Canadian, I freeze my butt off along with my loving partner, two dogs and a cat. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them, but if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Discussion

9 thoughts on “Why We Are Not Giving Gifts This Christmas

  1. I love this idea. My family might be moving around Christmas this year so we decided not to have a big Christmas, but even planning a small experience for us around the new area we will be in would be a great adventure for my toddler, and good for family time.

    Posted by crassymom | November 25, 2014, 10:24 am
  2. I totally support this concept. I like buying gifts when they are truly thoughtful. The concept of exchanging gift cards just irks me. My own family lives all across Canada, so shipping costs can add up. In the future, I’d like to propose we also do a family trip versus spending the cost on Christmas gifts – for the adults at least.

    Posted by Awaiting Autumn | November 25, 2014, 10:08 pm
    • Good point. Shipping costs are ridiculous. I have never faced that issue before but I don’t see the point of either sending a cheap gift or spending too much because shipping is the cost of the gift.

      Posted by Shannon | November 26, 2014, 9:15 am
  3. I love this! Every year, I care less and less about gifts – the buying, the getting – it’s stressful. But memories, experiences… that’s what I like. 🙂

    Posted by journeyformybaby | November 25, 2014, 11:22 pm
  4. I completely love this idea. However, with the way our family is divided for different reasons, it most likely would offend someone in some way. Between my husband and I, we have a huge family. Many of our family members on either side do not get along, or have opposing viewpoints to this idea. However, for me, pictures are one of the most valuable possessions I own, because they remind me of memories and times I may only faintly remember. Experiences like this are what life is all about, especially with family. If we can swing it one year with just our small family unit, we may. If I make handmade cards for everyone on our list, than I won’t feel as bad. I hope ya’ll enjoy your trip!

    Posted by TimeDancer | December 15, 2014, 10:03 pm
  5. here! here! 🙂 Happy holidays

    Posted by Ponder Anew | December 16, 2014, 11:28 pm

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