This year, my family decided to have a gift exchange again in order to save us all from buying for so many people while funds are tight.
We've also begun (last year) a new tradition--exchanging ornaments. I even like that idea better. To me, it's more meaningful--and more fun, because no one gets to send a list of what they want. It's all a big surprise.
When we did it last year, we had no theme. This year and from here on out, we're picking a theme. It's "Arizona" this time, and I'm feeling kind of lucky because I have some ornaments I already purchased while on my Arizona backroad travels (For my book. See it up there on your right?). So I have my ornament all picked out. It just needs wrapping. It's a cute ornament--more for the male gender, but fun, too. I'd describe it but am afraid a family member might read this blog. So I'll refrain.
But I really do like the idea because the rules are simple: bring a wrapped ornament that follows the theme with you to the house for Christmas dinner. And there's a dollar limit. But that's it. Easy. Fun. Not difficult to find. And everyone loves ornaments, don't they? Well, most everyone I know loves them and can use them.
I especially like what's happening with our family holiday traditions because it means that someone spoke out. Someone used their Expressive voice. They couldn't afford to buy too many presents and was wise enough to say something about it. Not only that, but this person found an easy solution that adapted well to our family needs. I like that.
I notice I'm not the only one to see such holiday changes because of the economy. Other families I know are getting into the gift exchange idea. So I'd like to know what kinds of new traditions, if any, has the economy encouraged you to adopt in order to make your holidays bright?
Are you cutting back anywhere? Inviting less guests to dinner? Avoiding too many parties? Not sending out cards? Buying less presents for the kids? Not buying new decorations like you might have in the past (always something I did)? What, if anything, are you doing to afford the holiday that fits both your budget and the spirit of the season? Are you finding any resistance from other family members? If so, are you speaking out right back? Share your stories here so we can all benefit from your thoughts and ideas.