Tuesday, October 30, 2012

hundred dollar holiday?

Last summer I read a book called, "Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case for a More Joyful Christmas" by Bill McKibben. I knew if I were to put any of his ideas into practice, I would have to read it and plan long before the holiday season actually hit.
When Eric sees me reading books like this he runs the other way, figuring that I am concocting all sorts of ideas that involve total gift deprivation. How can we spend only a $100.00 !!!! It would totally ruin Christmas for everybody, is what I hear.
Honestly, I have a large family, and while I don't think we can meet the $100.00 goal, my family can take some very important lessons away from this book.
Changes like this, when incremented slowly, seem to weave themselves into our traditions in a more gentle manner. This is how most of the successful changes happen in my family. I am the only one that likes to jump right in. If I am patient, and go slow, everybody comes around.
I really like the idea of giving of our time and talents. Each one of us can bless our loved ones in this way. The gift of time is so precious. Getting creative with a handmade coupon or certificate makes it even more special.
We love to make gifts. I am thinking that my kids can make gifts for one another. We usually let them spend $10.00 to buy gifts for each other, and that adds up. With a little forethought, I bet we can come up with great ideas.
We participate in 2 gift exchanges at Christmas. This year I am putting together breakfast baskets. Homemade granola, quick breads, teas, personalized mugs, that sort of thing. I am spending about $10.00 per basket.
I have 7 nieces/nephews that we usually buy a small gift for. I end up spending about $50.00 total for them. I am thinking that this year I will take that money and buy something through the Heifer Int'l website on their behalf. I will still give them their Christmas chocolate bar, and enclose a little note about Heifer. They are all teenagers, and seriously.......do they really even appreciate a $5.00 gift card somewhere? A family in a third world country appreciates our gift much more. A flock of chicks only costs $20.00. I am doing this.
Bill McKibben quotes:

"I can remember almost every present that some one's made for me since we started doing these Hundred Dollar Holidays . . . . I have no idea what gifts came in all those great piles under the tree in previous years.  They didn't attach themselves to particular faces, particular memories.  So the point is not to stop giving; the point is to give things that matter.  (Bold type mine)  Give things that are rare--time, attention, memory, whimsy.  We run short on these things in our lives, even as we have an endless supply of software, hardware, ready-to-wear."

Well, I am giving it a try, in a gentle way. I am willing to bet that my family won't notice, much.
Maybe we spend a few hundred dollars. It's still less, and much more mindfully and creatively spent. That's the important part for me.

Have a blessed Tuesday, Tami

1 comment:

  1. Im a mom of 6. A hundred dollar holiday is not an option.lol. But to give smarter,and to give time together coupons is a great idea. I too am trying to spend less. Not toys this year. Laptops,and gift cards. Not things that will break,be forgotten,or never used. That includes all the cute Cristmas novelty stuff here.Youre like me wanting to jump right in on change. Slowly,but surely.