In What Ways Can We Make Christmas Special without Giving Gifts?

Christmas is a special time of the year. Giving gifts often seems like the focus of the entire season. Children and adults are both bombarded with advertisements for the latest toys, gadgets, gear, and jewelry, and many of these items can make a big dent into a family’s budget. However, the best ways to make Christmas special don’t have to do with giving gifts at all.

It can be difficult, especially with children, to focus on the other aspects of the Christmas season. It takes some effort, but it is important to remember what it is that makes Christmas special for you. Perhaps it is the childhood memories, the family gatherings, or religious beliefs and traditions. Identifying what it is about Christmas that means the most to you and your family, and spending time with your family talking it out can take some of the pressure off to buy the latest Elmo doll or MP3 player.

Volunteering is another way to make Christmas special without giving gifts. Perhaps you can be a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army or another charity. Maybe you can volunteer to help serve meals at the local homeless shelter or women’s facility. You might be able to help an organization by volunteering to wrap charity presents, even if you are not in a position to purchase any.

For friends and family, it is not gifts that they will remember about the Christmas season in the long run. If you visit your Grandmother in the nursing home, it won’t matter much to her whether or not you brought a gift. Rather than giving gifts to your friends, you could instead invite them all over for some fresh baked pie and eggnog. If you feel like you must give a gift, you might offer to watch your friends’ children for a night so that they can spend some time alone. Or, you might consider writing a poem, or having your children color some pictures or make a craft, rather than going to the mall and fighting the crowds.

Spending time with the ones you love is one of the best ways to make Christmas special. Go caroling with your daughter’s Girl Scout troop. Visit a living nativity at a local church. Spend a Saturday baking Christmas gifts as a family. Your children are guaranteed to remember these things long after they’ve forgotten the remote-controlled car that was under the tree.

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