Sometimes, we spend so much time figuring out what to give that we forget why we're giving it in the first place. Our presents become meaningless, as we rush to find something, anything to give just because.
This was definitely true for me last year.
I gave last year's Christmas presents on New Year's Eve. *shifty eyes*
That last sentence just made me feel like a terrible human being. Or at least a terribly disorganized one.
So how'd I end up leaving things so late?
Part of it was getting food poisoning last December. Being practically chained to the toilet was a memorable Christmas gift! I found it hilarious --- a story to tell when I'm out of this situation, I thought at that time --- but it sapped my energy and meant I had no desire to prep presents.
And a secret part of it?
I was tired of buying presents.
Stressing over what to get people (especially the difficult ones who never seemed to need anything) and calculating how to keep things in my budget over and over and scoring what seems like every store in the city for a unicorn of a present and braving the traffic to the shoping malls and wrapping 30-ish presents and---
Buying gifts that delighted the people I gave them to used to excite me. Last year, it just felt like a chore.
There wasn't any Christmas cheer in my gift giving. Instead, it was all about superficial obligations like following tradition ("Everyone gives gifts at Christmas!") and returning favors ("He gave me a present; I should probably give one back...").
That felt shallow. And stressful besides.
This year, I tried something simpler.
I decided to focus on the why behind my presents: thanking people for being in my life.
My gifts didn't need to be expensive but they had to show I appreciated each person.
If that sounds like a tall order, it's actually much easier than you think!
You can even do it last-minute (like, ehem, this week).
Let me share twelve quick ideas that have been a hit for me this season.