I’ve never been a big fan of Christmas, mostly due to the way the rampant commercialism has squeezed the joy out of things. I just grit my teeth and stay away from the malls between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’ve also reached a gift truce with most people I know, which makes that last bit easier. The last barrier to fall in my commercial-less Christmas was when my wife and I agreed to stop giving each other gifts each year, and instead spend the money on food for a local Food Bank.
Our holiday tradition now is to take the money we would have spent on each other, usually around $400, and head down to Costco and buy bulk basics. We go for the staples of fruits, vegetables, meats, pasta, beans, and peanut butter. We look for the best deals on individually packaged items so they can be split amongst multiple families if necessary.¬† We then take it to a local food bank.
We took our young nieces with us one year, and we set them up with the amount of money we could spend and helped them budget out the shopping list. They had fun and learned how a lot of other people need things much more basic than an iPod or a Barbie for Christmas.
So it may not be traditional, but it feels good to have all our Christmas Shopping out of the way on Nov 3oth!