If you’ve had a rough financial year, or are simply sick of running the stress-inducing hamster wheel of gift exchanges, perhaps you’d like a present-free holiday season.
Frugal Beautiful offers a roadmap for breaking a gift-giving tradition. The earlier you start trying to get friends and loved ones on board with the plan, the smoother your transition is likely to go.
Here are some tips from the post:
* Send your cards out as soon as possible. You can include a note that makes your intentions clear, saying something like “This year we are focusing on the holiday spirit by giving back and instead of exchanging gifts we will be dedicating our time and energy to supporting local families in need.”
* Get others to buy in. Rather than leaving people feeling abandoned, you can ask them to join you in an alternate custom. For instance, you can start a food drive or some other kind of joint charitable effort.
* Give the gift of quality time. Instead of swapping tokens of affection, plan get-togethers with the mutual understanding that the outing takes the place of traditional gifts.
Deciding not to exchange gifts can also take stress off others, especially if you’re tight with someone who’s facing financial struggles. While abandoning gift-giving could be a drastic move and is definitely not for everyone, you may find others are more receptive to the notion than you’d expect.