Why I Don’t Buy Christmas 🎁 Gifts

Greetings and welcome to my little blog and my little corner of the world. I appreciate every single visitor, every person who gets to my “be kind” sign off at the end of the blog post, every comment, every like. I appreciate it all. So thank you. Thank you sincerely for supporting my effort. It means the world.

Christmas. The best holiday of the year to most. I’m sure you caught the title of this post, and no, I am not a Scrooge. I have just changed the way I approach the holidays and I have a plethora of reasons why, so bare with me.

This post in no uncertain terms, is a slight  to anyone who loves the shopping. The wrapping. The lists. the gift tags. The ornaments, etc etc. Whatever makes you happy and whatever you wish to do is quite alright with me. This is purely my opinion and what I have chosen to do.

I have a sizable family with two parents, three siblings plus all of their kids, my four kids and my oldest son who has children too. There is no way you can buy for one without the other, etc. So the list is very long. With me traveling for a living, most times I cannot get anywhere for the holidays and I have been known to spend the holidays on my own in a hotel room. The planning has to start at least early October purely for expenses and the mailing is a small mortgage.

One year my youngest son said, “I don’t need any more things mom, if you really want to do something for us for the holidays, just treat us to dinner or something to do”. LIGHT BULB MOMENT!

I am known as being a Minimalist (work in constant progress) and living with intention. I believe we remember what we do and not what we have. I hear my children talking when they are together and I absolutely have never heard them mention what they GOT, they always talked about what we DID. I look around and see so much need, alongside people scurrying like ants to buy still more for this holiday that is supposed to be about giving.  So I put out an email to my entire family asking them if they would be open to not buying Christmas gifts (except for the children of course) and donate to a worthy non profit cause of our choice instead. The idea went over very well and we all did it.

I toned down drastically the large amount of money I was used to spending and didn’t shop. I bought gift cards for something to do, an activity, out to dinner, etc and spent the time I would have spent shopping, fighting traffic, waiting in lines, fighting grumpy people on writing heartfelt Christmas Cards.

I must admit, it was awkward at first. Christmas came and it felt like I had failed in some way. But it didn’t last long. I literally freed up almost three months of time. I freed up more money than I would care to admit. The holidays felt more intimate, meant more, was real togetherness with great phone calls and genuine hugs as we were not distracted over a mountain of gifts piled up under a tree that would be torn open and enjoyed for a very short time.

It is a decision I do not regret and will continue. No longer will I be a part of the smothering consumerism as  I see people scrambling to buy more, charge more, spend more. I provide a fun activity or a meal or something special like a massage or a pedicure and make donation so that others can be helped and not forgotten during the most commercialized holiday of the year.

Last year I donated to

Water.org – a non profit that’s purpose is to provide clean water to underserved areas in third world countries.

MusicForRelief.org – a non profit that reaches out to those affected by natural disasters

And I donated 20 new blankets to the local homeless shelter.

Like I mentioned before, if Christmas is your thing, then go for it and be happy. The holidays are great. The food. The family. The laughs. The silly hats. I love it all. I have just stepped back from the downside of it. And the downside for me is the overwhelming consumerism that I try very hard to step away from as much as I can.

Thank you for your patience and for stopping by!

Until next time……….be kind……..always,


15 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Buy Christmas 🎁 Gifts

Add yours

  1. This is so true Cathy. We all just have too many ‘things’. My favourite part of Christmas isn’t the presents, it’s the spending of time with my favourite people! x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree. Christmas can really get out of hand. With much of our family overseas, we started buying vouchers online for “useful things” or experiences. Takes the stress and financial drain away and lets you enjoy the holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a wonderful idea!!! Christmas is so stressful to me, and you are totally right.. kids remember things they did. I really enjoyed this post. I might try this!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That was a lovely read~ and I adore your reasoning behind it. The holidays should be about spending time with loved ones and honoring the themes of the season: togetherness and warmth.

    It’s only in recent years that I’ve been able to buy or make gifts for my small family and as they’re often in dire straights (low on money, disability insurance didn’t come that month, something in the home broke down…) I like being to able to do something to make life a little easier around the holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed reading your post. Last year we didn’t visit family or do Christmas and it was very un-Christmas. This year my husband and I will be with his family so I feel obligated to buy gifts. I already told them that we don’t need more “stuff” but nobody seems to listen. Every year we usually need an extra suitcase to drag all of our stuff home. I know my daughter will be getting more toys which she doesn’t need, and my husband refuses to donate them in case someone visits us (unlikely, we live on the opposite side of the country) and they notice that the gift they gave is missing. She has way too many toys and I would like to get rid of stuff. Any suggestions on how to tackle this problem?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I LOVE this idea! I really dislike the focus on materialism during the holidays and would much rather make memories!! This year I did buy less intentionally, but I would much rather go and DO something together rather than have gifts! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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