My goal this year is to really enjoy the Christmas season with my family. Our kids are 6,4, 2 and 1 right now, so Christmas is a BLAST with them. They love every aspect of it: the lights, the cookies, the Christmas program and special Christmas service, Christmas movies, Christmas crafts, the gatherings, and of course the gifts.

It is so fun to celebrate this season with them.

So I’ve tried to take inventory of what distracts me from truly enjoying this time of year, and most of it revolves around gift giving.

Finding great gifts takes time, energy, and MONEY.

So here is my plan of attack this Christmas season:

  1. Opt out of as many gift exchanges as possible. This saves money, time and energy to focus on the gift exchanges that are most important to me. (You can find tactics for opting out HERE!)
  2. Give more gift cards. There are some people that I would like to honor with a gift, but need to keep it simple (more on this below).
  3. Decide where to direct my creative energy. More on this to come!

 

Why you should give MORE gift cards this year + Creative gift card ideas!

 

// Why Give More Gift Cards: //

I plan on giving more gift cards this year to save time, however, that doesn’t mean they can’t be thoughtful.

In the past, gift cards have been taboo. They have implied a certain lack of effort or laziness. However, now there are SO many more options, we aren’t limited to just Starbucks, Applebee’s or Target, so I definitely don’t feel bad giving them!

Here are a few ways to give creative gift cards:

  1. Support an Interest: Think outside of the Department Store/Coffee Shop Box. It could be for a beer or wine tasting, a beer making, painting or cooking class, a theater show, or a local coffee shop or new restaurant instead of a national chain.It could also be for a service like home cleaning, auto detailing or to quality meat store or florist.
  2. Still have something to open, accompany it with something small: If you are giving a coffee shop gift card, ask for a cup and lid to wrap it in. Or attach gift cards to a box of candy, homemade cookies, bag of coffee, or other item that you know they would like.You don’t have to spend much on this, something from the Dollar Store or dollar spot will likely do the trick!
  3. A gift card to do something TOGETHER: People are relational and we like spending time together! So give the gift of time to a restaurant, sporting event, movie theater, musical production, wine tour and tasting or wine and painting event.
    Groupon can be a great place to look for these “experience” gifts.

I also like that I can begin shopping for these early (before Thanksgiving), to take some of the financial strain off of Christmas.

// Here are a few examples of gift cards that I plan on Giving this year: //

My Daughter’s Teacher: A gift card to a local restaurant that is well loved so she can have a night off from cooking.

My Grandma: A gift card to a meat market by her home. She loves getting high quality fresh meat and needs NOTHING for her little apartment (in fact, most often she is sending things home with us!).

My Aunt: Gift card to Penzey Spices. She loves to cook and has mentioned this store in the past as one of her favorites.

My Husband’s Parents: A gift card for a wine tasting at a local vineyard. They have recently gotten into this and it is something fun they can do together.

Our Pastor: A Starbucks gift card, there is a location just a block from our church and I know he enjoys it. (He doesn’t expect a gift but I want to show our appreciation :)

Already having this planned out has taken a load of stress off of this Holiday season. Plus, I can start getting these early, before Thanksgiving which also helps with the financial burden of the Holidays.

// But What If… //

But what if the recipient thinks I didn’t put any thought into the gift? Or thinks the value is too low? Or doesn’t like it?…

The problem may be the heart of the recipient and not your gift. Unfortunately, we’ll never be able to control how the other person feels when we give a gift, all we can do is what is best for ourselves and our family this Christmas, and for me, that is Christmas crafts, dancing to Christmas music, and lots of Christmas baking :)

Do you have any creative gift card ideas? Please share below!

 

Dawn

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If you’re on Pinterest, here is a graphic for that, and thank you (thank you, thank you!) for sharing!

Why you should give MORE gift cards this year + Creative gift card ideas!

 

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