This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gift giving on the cheap

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.


Anonymous said...

I love this idea. My extended family decided to just do away with gift exchanging completely which made me kind of sad. I would have loved something fun like this instead.

Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell said...

We did the ornament exchange at a Christmas party last week and it was so much fun!
My family always had such huge, lavish holidays with lots of stuff. I think as we get more mature, we become less about the loot and more about just spending time with friends and family. It's that time that's the gift.

Ulrike, Dubai said...

What a lovely idea, I'll keep that for next year.
It is so silly to spend too much money, especially on adults, when something fun like this probably does the trick much better. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

My friends and I all decided last year that instead of exchanging gifts we would just donate to our favorite charities. We're doing the same thing this year. I wish I could do this with my kids!

Joanne Mason said...

What nice traditions!

My family did a stocking-stuffer exchange one year. We each drew names and were then responsible for filling that person's stocking. The only restrictions were a dollar limit ($10, I think) and every item had to come from a dollar store. There were some creative things. My brother gave me a plastic sandwich case since I was brown bagging my lunch to work all the time. I used it for years.

BIKE LADY said...

Fun stuff to read about. I'd like to try the stocking-only gift exchange--with a dollar limit--sometime. That sounds like fun.

kerry dexter said...

sending out cards is an important part of the holiday for me --I love writing them. even if it's just a brief note, and reflecting on the ways the people I'm sending them to have touched my life.

what I do for cards is use small prints of some of my own seasonal or music related photographs --watching for specials on print prices through the year, so I have some stocked up and can then choose ones that I think a person or family will like. it's fun, and people seem to enjoy receiving them.