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Gifts That Keep Spirits Up and Costs Down

The holidays are night, and thus begins one of the most intense periods of consumerism of the year. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American will spend around $950 on gifts during the holiday season. The federation estimates that about 60% of that money goes directly to credit card debt. Although traditional gift-giving is often the theme of the season, there are so many other ways to share energy with loved ones. Today we’re sharing some of our favorite non-traditional holiday ideas that keep the spirits up and the costs down. 

  1. Give your time. Forego the gifts that are often forgotten about before the week is over and donate your time this season.  Volunteering for a charity, adopting a family for holiday gifts, or participating in community-building events has an immeasurable impact and teaches your children about the importance of giving. Engaging in hands-on acts of service activities is a great gift.
  2. DIY your gifts. Don’t be scared of this! It doesn’t have to be a giant craft session, and it’s a great way to spend time together as a family. Instead of buying cards this year, have everyone create their own. Little ones will take such pride in being able to handmake something special, and it gives everyone in the family a thoughtful keepsake. In addition to cards, there are a lot of simple crafts you can plan for your family. 
  3. Celebrate different cultures. Research holiday traditions from around the world and then check your community to see if there are any celebrations open to the public. Introducing your family to different cultures and celebrations will introduce diversity into their lives, and is a beautiful way to support other faiths, communities, and cultures. 
  4. Let your kids decide. You may be surprised when they choose activities that don’t involve gifts. Focus on sharing time and making memories, rather than amassing things. Driving around with snacks and looking at holiday lights, ice skating, or snow tubing, visiting a holiday event in your city—these can become coveted traditions and lifelong sources of joy. Who knows, maybe your kids will celebrate your traditions with their kids someday! 

However you celebrate the holidays, mindfully integrating shared activities is a wonderful way to honor the true meaning of the season, and to create familial connection. Happy Holidays!