We know the song and love to sing along, but how many of us feel more stress and overwhelm when it comes to the holidays, than cheer and delight?
For me Christmas shopping brought more headaches, money-stress and anxiety than I wanted. It became easy to focus on satisfying my family’s ‘wish list’ rather than celebrating the season of giving; not to mention how quickly those gifts were forgotten and created more clutter in my home.
That is…until I started giving ‘memory gifts’ to my family instead.
What is a memory gift? It is giving the gift of an experience with someone you love. A special date-night, concert tickets, ziplining adventure, a weekend getaway, or taking an art class. It’s making a memory with that person, one that they’ll remember far more than any gizmo or gadget.
Here’s some personal tips of how I’m simplifying my Christmas shopping:
Tidy Tips for ‘Memory Gifts’
1) Gift a Family Memory- Every year my husband and I plan one family memory gift we can do with all our children. A weekend getaway, trip to Yellowstone, hotel overnighter, or day of bowling and arcade games. It’s a gift of family fun and togetherness.
2) Gift each Child a ‘Date Memory’- These gifts are special one-on-one dates with Mom & Dad for each of our kids. They usually include a fun activity and eating out. We try to personalize these day dates so they are unique and specific to what each child enjoys most.
3) Gift your Spouse a Memory- I love to plan a memory date and surprise my husband for Christmas with a fun, adventurous activity or a relaxing escape that he and I can enjoy together…because let’s face it, as adults we can buy what we really need and want anyway. 😉
4) Gift ‘Christmas Day’ Memory Gifts- I know what you’re thinking, “This is all great Katie, but won’t the kids be disappointed not to have something to play with on Christmas day?” You’re absolutely right! This is where my husband and I wrap a few things that our kids can enjoy on Christmas.
Our Christmas Day Go-To’s this Year Include: -1 Toy per Child (for us, that’s Legos for the boys and a new Barbie for our girl…can’t go wrong!) -1 Treat to Enjoy (per tradition, each child gets their favorite sugared cereal wrapped up and ready to snack on all day long.) – 1 Clothing Item (for our kids, that’s a pair of Christmas jammies.) – 1 Interest Item (includes anything that requires some brain power or developing their talents…such as a new book, art supplies, or musical instrument.)
Giving memory gifts has completely changed how I shop at Christmas time, because instead of stressing about all the stuff, I get to create opportunities for special memories with my family.
Let’s break the mold and get back to simplifying our Christmas season! It may be your most ‘memorable’ Christmas yet.
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