Time, finances, or changing family circumstances sometimes require adjustments to the holiday gift list. Will this be the year you renegotiate gift exchanges?
Where has your gift-giving overstepped the bounds? Has an exchange with a friend or neighbor grown too expensive and elaborate over the years?
Perhaps it's over-elaborate expectations for adult family gifts, or an outgrown exchange with old school friends. Office gifts and "Secret Santa" exchanges can mushroom into an onerous obligation after a few years.
Will you be the brave soul who calls a halt?
Yes, it's scary to be the first to state the obvious: that the given exchange has become unreasonable and burdensome. Nobody wants to be a Scrooge, and most of us feel we're all alone in resenting a gift exchange that's reached the end of the reasonable road.
Surprise! If you feel the ritual has been outgrown, chances are, the other participants agree. Most people heave a giant sigh of relief to reach an understanding in such cases.
Take the lead! By reshaping a gift exchange that's lost it's meaning, you'll save time, money, and stress. Most of all, you'll bring the holidays back to their center: a celebration of life, love and friendship.
To Do Today
Renegotiate outgrown gift exchanges
Today, review and renegotiate adult gift giving. Can you simplify your family's "unwritten rules" to bring meaning back to seasonal gift exchanges?
Draw names and set a price limit for a gift exchange. Could your family dispense with adult gifts in favor of gifts to charity or family service project?
Set up a birthday/anniversary calendar
Take a tip from organized gift-givers to simplify holiday shopping next year: buy each loved one's Christmas gift when you purchase their birthday gift. By focusing on one recipient at a time, gift-giving is more efficient--and spreading the financial burden over the year helps the holiday bottom line.
Print a free birthday/anniversary calendar to track special events around the year.
To Read Today
Need help understanding why you give as you do? Examine the unwritten rules of gift-giving--and grab some tips to reshape stale gift exchanges--with this article:
What's the first empty space in the holiday cookie tray? It's the one where you find Mexican Wedding Cakes: tender, melting cookies that look just like snowballs!
To make these pretty cookies, sometimes called Snowballs, rich shortbread dough is studded with nuts, rolled in balls, and coated in powdered sugar while warm.
Mexican Wedding Cakes can be made ahead. To make ahead, bake as directed, layer into freezer food storage containers, then freeze. Before serving, dust thawed cookies with a fresh coat of powdered sugar.