Friday, May 22, 2009

A new approach to gifts

Just before Christmas last year, when I was worrying about the state of our finances but hadn't put a plan in place, I was considering what we would do about Christmas. We don't have a lot of extended family around so Christmas is a fairly low-key affair - except for the expectations about presents. This is the first time that I looked consumerism square in the eye and realised I didn't want to go down the track of buying loads of expensive gifts (not that we could afford to anyway). I am totally over buying "stuff" that doesn't last well or is played with for a short time before being discarded to gather dust in a corner. I also had a long think about those less fortunate than us. It doesn't seem right that we can splurge money on frivolous gifts without making an effort to help less fortunate people.

I had a talk to the Optimist, my sons and their girlfriends and asked them to nominate a charity they would like to support. I made a $50 donation for each person to the charity of their choice and bought each person a gift for around $50 each. I enjoyed being able to focus on something for each person that I thought they would really appreciate and they seemed more than happy with their gifts. The Optimist still went and did the usual level of shopping for his children.

I would like to think we can do even better this year. Id like each gift for birthdays and Christmas to be carefully considered so that the gift is something that would be really appreciated and be something that lasts well or provides a lasting experience. Plus, of course, these special occasions will be in the budget so there will be no nasty experience of opening credit card bills after the event. That's a bonus!

No comments:

Post a Comment