It’s been a rough year financially for most of us – understandably. Yet, many are still feeling anxious over seemingly mandatory Holiday traditions.
Here’s why (and how) that should change:
It’s affecting everyone. From elderly relatives on a fixed income to younger twenty-somethings just getting started, it can be a financial drain to purchase Holiday gifts for a lengthy list of relatives and friends.
People are more reasonable than you think. If discussed openly and honestly, most adults are perfectly ok with buying themselves what they need and want for the Holidays! We’re all in the same boat, and are aware of how quickly a perfectly good Holiday can turn into a stressful experience.
Supply chain problems. Lack of supply in stores caused a bit of a panic this year, but if you plan ahead, it doesn’t have to be catastrophic. My family decided to exchange gift cards. Perhaps a gift to someone’s favorite charity could work too.
Kids will be kids. Of course, children can’t buy their own gifts! Remember though: most young kids are pretty happy whatever they get. Heck, some of the youngest of the bunch even love the box!
As the kids get older and begin to have more expectations, simply ask for a wish list. It can also be great to give an “experience” gift. Does your kid love sports? Buy private lessons. Do they love music? Get tickets to see their favorite band.
Pro-tip: don’t be afraid to speak honestly with your older kids and manage their expectations for gifts! They might be a little disappointed, but not nearly as disappointed if they had been given false expectations.
You’re not alone. I have been reading more often about many families that have decided to pass on gift giving between the adults in the family, and given the circumstances, it makes perfect sense.
Bottom line, if you have angst or anxiety about buying presents during what is supposed to be a joyful season, you should give it up altogether. It’s not worth your peace of mind!
Here at the end of 2021, we have almost an entire year to give the idea a chance. If we start now, by next Thanksgiving we should be able to convince a majority of the family that this is the way to a stress free holiday season!
Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago