Submitted by megan on Sat, 11/15/2008 - 21:44
My brother and sister and I stopped giving each other presents years ago. We were all students, none of us had much money. We could only afford to give each other small things, things that we didn't need as much as we needed the money we would have spent on the small things to give each other.
This year, I tried something similar on my Mom. It's not that I don't have the money now. But I'm trying to buy less stuff overall. And though my family is lovely, I'm not that close to most of them. So I often get stuff that I don't want and that goes directly to the Value Village. I give stuff that probably meets the same fate.
My suggestion - stolen from Jennifer - was that we ask each other to watch a movie/read a book/listen to a CD we thought they would enjoy or should know about, the caveat being that it had to be available from the local library. That way, we could spend Christmas talking about all the stuff we'd watched, listened and read. Having interesting conversations, you know.
It didn't go over very well. We aren't ready for that yet, apparently.
My friend Sam emailed me yesterday to ask me if I'd post the video below. The organization she works for, Inter Pares, does a lot of great work around the world. Like any other non-profit, they rely heavily on donations.
I don't know why I didn't think of suggesting this to all my family - it's still buying stuff and giving something, so it satisfies that component of Christmas, but you get more more more good instead of more more more stuff.