Less Than 100 Days Until Christmas

Yes….I said it, less than 100 days until Christmas. But what if this year we decided to think a little different about holidays? What would happen if we focused less on trying to buy the love of our family members and focus more on love and being together? Don’t get me wrong…I love getting a gift but chances are if you ask your children, friends or other family members what they got last year, they probably don’t remember. I know I don’t remember what I even gave my children. I had a conversation with someone who has a parent that gives experiences such as dance lessons and an in-law that gives lavish gifts. When they ask the child what they remember, it is always the experience and not the gift.

Then I saw a reminder on Pinterest, “Black Friday: Because only in America, where people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.” I have never understood this tradition. I know for some people it is a fun family activity. But I personally like waking up and lying under my toasty blankets and shop at a local brick and mortar or mom and pop store that is locally owned, much later in the week.

I remember last year there was the idea of the four gift rule: 1thing they want, 1 thing they need, 1 thing the wear and 1 thing they read. The rule is not “as long as I found it on sale I can buy it”. Be mindful as you start your holiday shopping.

Think back to when you were a child. What did you remember? I remember the year I got a doll and a wooden cradle from my grandma with the homemade doll quilt. I think that maybe was the same year my dad bought me the race car set (yes, he only had daughters and he hoped one of us would like to play with cars). What we remember is a few really special gifts….not the mass unwrapping followed by a few hours of enjoyment.  I never remember the clothes I received as gifts. However, I do remember the year the gloves I wanted to go with my coat weren’t available so I got a cut out picture in the catalog of the gloves….I wonder if they are back in stock now? So as you start to make your holiday list this year, think outside of the box and possibly don’t even give a gift that you can find in a box. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

For Adults:

  • Mom and daughter spa day
  • Watching your niece and nephew for a weekend so your brother and sister in law can spend some quality time together
  • Season tickets to your local theater/symphony/opera company
  • Dancing lessons
  • Scuba diving lessons
  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Rent a luxury car for a few days for the car enthusiast

For Kids:

  • Gymnastic/tap/karate/ballet lessons
  • Monthly date night with grandma and grandpa
  • Music lessons along with the rental fee of the instrument
  • One on one time with mom or dad where you go and have a surprise activity like mini golf or a movie. Make a big deal of it and get dressed up

So this year….think a little different and create memories….not clutter.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,


MS. Simplicity


MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.mssimplicity.com/

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3 Responses

  1. Pingback : Travel Guide Mobi » Areavoices: Thinking differently about Christmas gifts this holiday

  2. Mary

    I really enjoyed this column. I hate shopping for Christmas so this should help me. I like the list of four things, and really like the idea of giving an experience. My daughter was given a cooking lesson ( 3 young women did it together) and posted the photos on Facebook. Then they did a Jazz Cruise down the St. Croix River with one girl’s parents, it also was a gift.

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