Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday Tips: Contemplating a Conscious Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner and knowing some of you are already done shopping, my thoughts are just turning to how I want our Christmas to be. I've taken a few different approaches during the holidays, one year avoiding items Made In China (that is tough work), another year keeping a tight budget per child (that is tough work), and others just picking up things here and there that caught my eye which I like to refer to as mindless Christmas shopping. I remember one year on Christmas Eve feeling as if I hadn't done enough and running around trying to find something meaningful for the girls. I can guarantee I did not accomplish what I set out to do on Christmas Eve. I never feel good about the mindless approach, especially in January when my bank statements arrive and I see toys strewn about.

Here's where my intentions are going into this Christmas Season:

1. Handmade items, for example my oldest daughter has a special blanket called, Silky,  that a friend of mine made for her years ago. Miss GL was never given a Silky, so I am going to make GL one this year. Obviously that won't be a Santa item, but it will be something special under the tree.

2. Shopping online with small business retailers that value Made in the USA and selling items that are made from non-toxic paints, plastics, and that are made from natural materials. If I catch the timing right and keep an eye on my emails, I can typically find great free shipping deals combined with a percentage off of my total purchase. Bonus, I'm supporting a small business. I AVOID the large online retailers (yes, pun intended) after they stopped working with their Colorado affiliates back in 2010. If I am going to shop big box, I just do it in my neighborhood rather than online.

3. Asking my daughters to think about one or two special toys they would like, but providing a list of no more than 5 items. I don't like encouraging them into thinking Christmas is a gift giving free for all.

4. Choosing toys and craft items that encourage imaginative play. While we are not a electronic free house, I am always amazed at how creative my girls can be when given the right inspiration.

5. Experiences as gifts. I love having a Zoo Membership or tuition for Ballet School as gifts for my girls. Those gifts keep on giving year round, which are my favorite.

6. Sticking to a budget. I don't want any buyer's remorse come January. I want to find a comfortable number we can afford with out having to use credit cards and have a cash only Christmas. This is hard because so many other incidentals come up during the holidays, but I am hoping if I start now I can achieve this.

7. Family time, I want to take the focus off the stuff and make it about our family. Family fun baking, decorating, visiting museums, hiking together, and slowing down to cherish time!

8. Handmade items for our family. I can't quite divulge what I am making right now, but I am crafty and I am hoping my skills will be appreciated come December.

I hope setting my intentions now will allow me the chance to achieve what I am putting out there. I want to be free from regrets and the depression that sets in from post-holiday glut (physically and mentally). 

2 comments:

  1. Experiences as gifts are my favorite. I always try to do that for my family. One year I bought Carrie Fisher's book for my mom and in it were two tickets to her one woman show. It was fun to go with her months later.

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  2. Taking this to heart, as this year is going to be rough trying to buy presents. (We don't do adult gifts in my family, just the kiddos, but I feel like I should do something nice for the adults anyways for all the support this year.)

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I always appreciate the gesture to stop and take a moment to comment. Thank you!