Gift-free Christmas - MoneySense

Gift-free Christmas

Limit the Christmas shopping and enjoy the holiday festivities


I love Christmas. The decorations, the snow and, heck, even the non-stop caroling. The only thing I don’t like? Christmas shopping. And I’m not the only one.

In a recent survey done by Consumer Reports, 68% of respondents said epic crowd sizes and long lines were among their holiday shopping pet peeves. Disappointing gifts annoyed another 19% of those surveyed. And a second, holiday-themed survey from Consumer Reports revealed that shoppers spend 19 hours looking for the right gifts.

That’s a lot of stress.

But research shows that material goods don’t bring you as much as happiness as good memories. Think about it. Can you remember what you got last Christmas or two years ago? Probably not. But you likely remember what you were doing during those same times.

So spend less time worrying about what presents others want and instead think about what will help you, your friends and family have a good time. Cook up a meal in the kitchen, play board games, decorate a Christmas tree or build a gingerbread house. These are the experiences you’re more likely to remember when you look back years later.

As one of my colleagues suggested, “Give the gift of your presence, not presents.”