With inflation causing tight budgets, minimalism becoming a trend, supply chains still struggling, plus social changes suchs as families no longer living in the same town forever, and fewer marriages and children happening, is it time to revise how we celebrate Christmas? Should we free people from the ‘expectation’ that everyone must exchange gifts?
Obviously buying gifts has nothing to do with celebrating the birth of Jesus. We can still sing carols, bake cookies, hang up lights, and go to church, which I do enjoy. I used to spend months shopping and thinking about shopping and trying to make Christmas morning perfect! However, since my kids hit the age of “I only want expensive things that you can’t afford” and “Please don’t buy me clothes” and “I’m not even going to show up for Christmas, so don’t buy me anything”, I have come to hate Christmas shopping. I’m putting that in polite terms. I really am not looking forward to it. But it’s only because of the stress of buying gifts. I love the music and worship and FOOD.
But what about people who have a knack for choosing just the right gift and the money to do it? Can we let them be the exception rather than the rule for everyone?
I’m not stingy or selfish. I would happily buy you a gift or give you cash or do something nice for you any time of year! But I hate this social pressure to conform to holiday traditions that really only work well for CHILDREN. Buying kids piles of toys and hiding them and then watching their excitement on Christmas morning was awesome and fun! The Lego and action figure days are long gone for me and I don’t have grandkids. If I see something I think my grown kids would like, I buy it then and give it to them.
If I had tons of money, I would gladly buy each of my sons a new truck or a house. But since my kids are moving out into the world and need practical things that they will want to pick out for themselves, I think I’d rather just give them some cash or an Amazon gift card and skip the whole wrapping and surprise moment. But if I don’t buy gifts, what will I put under the tree? Should I skip the tree? How does one celebrate Christmas without children?
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