I do not offer gifts for Christmas. That can seem weird, but that is a fact. Everyone does what they want, but I personally do not want to give gifts, or to receive them. At least, not for Christmas & when I do, it is because of a personal decision to make someone I love happy, but not because I feel pressured to do so. When I see people who almost like each other spending hundreds of dollars on gifts simply because “it is Christmas, that’s normal”, it makes me feel sad. Gifts must never be something we feel pressured to give, gifts are a way to show someone you love them, & you do not need any special occasion to do so. I would say that usually, people feel pressured to give gifts and that is actually the reason why they do it in the first place, not to make the other person happy. Sometimes, of course, Christmas gifts are here to make people happy, but in my experience, not most of the time.
I would rather gift something meaningful with no apparent reason in March than something meaningless bought the day before on Christmas day. If you are interested in getting to that point and being able not to either give nor receive gifts for Christmas, keep reading!
Make sure you do not want to receive gifts either.
That may seem obvious, but I prefer writing it. If you do not gift things, do not plan on getting gifts: it would be unthoughtful, & you do not want it to happen. As a minimalist, I obviously do not want to get extra clutter in my house so I am really happy not to get material gifts on Christmas day. If you are a minimalist as well, that is perfect & you will definitely benefit from not getting nor giving gifts this year.
Have a conversation with your loved ones on that topic.
You can’t just say “I won’t give gifts this year”, especially if you have been gifting stuff for years now or if Christmas is essential in your family. In mine, Christmas is far more about spending quality time together than about gifts but I know people that are all about the materialistic side of this holiday. Make sure you talk to your family about your project of not gifting things this year and about your will not to receive anything either.
You can try explaining why if you feel like doing it, but you do not necessarily have to. Just say kindly that this year, you would like to try a no-gifts Christmas & next year, it will already feel more natural.
You may also like: 5 Awkward Moments in the Life of a Minimalist they Do Not Want You to Know.
Do not think everyone else will understand your choice.
This one is important: you tell them because you respect them, but they do not have to understand your choice. They can’t force their view upon you, but you can’t (& should not) either. It is YOUR no-gift Christmas, not theirs & that is fine. As long as they respect your choice, do not try to get into too many explanations: not everyone can understand, & the plurality of opinions is a blessing, not a curse.
If they really do not understand, try another approach to the regular “gifts”.
Sometimes, people react a bit strongly, & I have a solution for it as well. If your friends & family think it is really “too weird” & you absolutely do not want to hurt their feelings, ask if you can gift something else this year (a dinner or anything that crosses your mind & could involve quality time spent together). Usually, people are more shocked about not giving gifts than about not receiving gifts. If that is the case, ask for a letter, or anything immaterial you love, & do the same. You will necessarily find a middle-ground.
Now, you know how you can live your own No-gift Christmas in 2020. There are so many ways to start this journey if it is what you want, my tips were just a way to get you started. If you have any thoughts upon that topic, feel free to tell us in the comments.
I wish you the best of all days,