Oct 12, 2008

Holiday Traditions In A New Economy

Do you plan to make changes in your holiday plans due the state of the economy and it’s effect on your family? Our family has taken a conservative approach to the season’s events for some years now.

Don’t get me wrong, we love the holidays but sometime during my twenties, the family decided to halt gift giving among the adults. We all agreed it was an unnecessary stressor and we really didn’t need any more stuff.

We get together for a special meal and everyone brings a dish. We may still get someone a special ornament for their tree or make someone something special but in general, gifts are reserved for the children. This has allowed us to enjoy time together making a meal, decorating or attending an event. This agreement has brought us closer as a family and not to mention saved a ton of waste and dollars over the years!

Even the children will receive substantially less this year, which in the long run will be a good thing for all. My son already has too much and even with quarterly trips to drop off donations at Goodwill, he still has things he doesn’t use. I’ve asked my family and friends to limit gifts to school/art supplies or gift cards that I can use through out the year as rewards or special occasion gifts.

Santa ( because I believe the magic of the holidays is important for children to experience) will bring a few handmade gifts that will last several years. His stocking will contain healthy snacks or seeds we can plant and grow together.

This year I want to start a tradition of having him learn to make gifts for others and perhaps learn to enjoy giving as well as receiving. Instead of asking him what he wants for Christmas, I plan to ask him what would he like to make for others. Since he will be just four this November, he’s young enough to start traditions now that will last his lifetime.

In the effort to save energy, we will not be lighting the outside of the house this year. I will decorate the front porch and place a wreath on the door . I also think this year we will make afternoon walking tours of the neighborhoods to look at decorations, save gas and get some exercise! I haven’t decided yet if I will send out Christmas cards or not. I may send e-mails instead.
Let me know what you plan to do this year, I’m open to more suggestions!


Valerie said...

I love the idea of a pot luck for Christmas, and I think that's what we'll do. Since I live in a very small appartment, that kind of meal is better than a table meal, less expensive, and you get a good variety of stuff.

As for the gifts, I'll still have a handmade focus, as I don't see the point in buying Wall Mart stuff. Something special for somebody special, I say. I won,t really be able to limit gifts, as I received some in Advance this year, since I moved out with my husband. I got house gifts that are worth a lot, and would feel cheap giving only a small thing. But I will certainly limit gifts to close family.

moxylyn said...

Thats wonderful! I always wondered what makes a person want to out-do the neighborhood and put out 40 strings of lights. The most we ever had I believe was 3 strings running across the overhang.

Nodin's Nest said...

Valerie: It's more relaxing for everyone and you can have more time to enjoy each other that way!
Moxylyn: We never did that much before either, but now we won't do it at all.

Jennifer said...

Your banner is lovely! I think that I will be making more gifts and buying small handmade things that I can wrap and put a little note with. Other than that, turning off more lights and teaching my son about not wasting water, etc...The economy has been tough for us for a while (one spouse in school) so this is par for the course for us, LOL!

Vintage Indie said...

What a great post!

"Even the children will receive substantially less this year, which in the long run will be a good thing for all. My son already has too much and even with quarterly trips to drop off donations at Goodwill, he still has things he doesn’t use."

That paragraph alone sums up what my husband and I talk about frequently. If we could just get the family on board!

I'm all for shopping handmade and independent this year and supporting small businesses. I hope more of the online community will shop out of the big box stores and support those around them.

Mariana said...

Those are all great ideas! I'm going to borrow some of them :)

We're also forgoing gifts this year... we're traveling and paying for extra luggage in addition to the already steep airfare isn't worth it at all.

obimomkenobi said...

Lovely. I'm going to cross-post over to this, so expect absolutely one's of people to stop by from my site... ;-)

Nodin's Nest said...

Jennifer: The little bird is a favorite of mine too!
Vintage: sometimes family is hard to convince!
Mariana: borrow away.
Obimom: Thank you! That is terrific.

Letters By Santa said...

I enjoyed reading your blog. I was thinking about this last week...how the economy would affect the holidays. I like your advise and will be sharing it with family members. Thanks for sharing.

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