My ‘twenty-somethings’ were home for Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful time eating and playing with the dogs. We talked about all kinds of things including how we want to celebrate the Christmas holiday this year. We decided that we were not going to buy any gifts for each other and we were all happy about this.
For those of us who are unemployed, the holidays can produce increasing financial stress. We want to be able to give our family everything they want. We feel if we limit what we give them that we are depriving them. I ask that you think about this.
Instead of buying ‘more’ – why not buy less. This article, Telling the Kids: We Need to Spend Less; talks about how to involve your children in your job search process. These are special teachable moments (see this LiveStrong article) that remind us about the true meaning of giving. I have a friend who told stories about how proud he was of his children each of whom offered to forego things and activities they wanted in order to ‘help the family’.
This could be a good year to start new traditions with your family. Instead of making it all about getting; how about concentrating on giving:
- Cookies or home made breads
- A small donation to a favorite charity
- The gift of time
- Gently used clothes (especially warm ones)
- Home made cards or e-cards
One of our favorite charities is Heifer International. Donations provide livestock (everything from flocks of birds to sheep and cows) to needy families. The animals provide food (eggs and milk) and a source of income when the family has more than they need.
Please share your gift of giving ideas.