And yet, I think that might change. I do need to get Christmas shopping done at some point. We have about 75% of our list left to buy for, and a planned-ahead Christmas budget to draw out of. Josh & I have decided that the house counts as a big gift for both of us, so we're not getting much for each other this year, just little things. I just want to bless my loved ones with something they'll enjoy (and, hopefully, use). Unfortunately, I have barely even started thinking about what those things may be.
Josh and I had a discussion earlier about having a "low-impact Christmas"- buying gifts that won't someday end up in a landfill. Ideas I've seen for this include:
- Giving experiences as gifts rather than things- tickets to a movie, concert, or play, gift certificates to restaurants, etc.
- Giving to an organization in the name of the gift recipient. Picking an organization the recipient cares about is a bonus. Along these lines, an idea I heard at church this week: giving family members "gift certificates" for a donation and letting them choose where they would like a monetary gift to go. It's particularly fun with organizations that put out "catalogs" with suggested donation amounts for needed items. World Vision has an annual catalog, and it's fun to imagine your gift going directly toward buying a goat or a couple rabbits or a chicken for a family that needs them. Our church put together a similar 'catalog' listing some of the ministries outside the walls of the church that it supports, with the opportunity to make a specific gift to one of those ministries. It also includes examples of an amount and what the money could go toward.
- Giving something recycled or secondhand. This may check an item off a Christmas list AND save an item from becoming waste in a landfill.
- Giving nothing but quality time. In a hurried culture (especially around the holidays!), just slowing down to enjoy family is a gift.
What do you think? Is it worth having a "low-impact Christmas", pulling back from both waste and consumerism? or are a few gifts to open both symbolic of God's gift to us and fun for the family? What other ideas do you have for your gift-giving?