Christmas Giving – to Charity Results

Last month I mentioned that we were going to donate to charity rather than buy lots of Christmas gifts to people. This really just expands on a tradition in my family, where we’ve had a Christmas donation component for many years. The big difference was that this year, we didn’t buy anything for adults in the family. I wanted to share how it went.

The overall idea was wonderful. I know that I, personally, felt far less stressed out than usual at this time of year. With being super sick for part of that time, it was especially helpful not to be responsible for obtaining gifts for everyone. It also felt just way more fun and easy to hang out with our families, just appreciating each other and enjoying Benji’s excitement, with no stuff to get in the way. Continue Reading...

Christmas Giving — to Charity

The holidays are fast approaching, a time when people start freaking out about what gifts to give hard-to-buy-for family members. Money flows. For many retailers, it’s a time to make or break; for many individuals, it’s a stressful and anxious time.

I wanted to share how my family has been fighting this trend, and what we’re thinking about doing differently this year.

Many years ago, my parents started doing a Christmas donation give-away. They would allocate a certain dollar amount to each family member, and give us Monopoly money to represent it. Then we would all go through the charity giving catalogs and decide where we wanted to put our giving dollars. Sometimes we teamed up to do something like help pay for a well (which are often expensive), or sometimes just spend it on something like vaccines for kids or bicycles for girls. Continue Reading...