Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Peace, Love and Understanding

With only a month to go until Christmas the pressure is starting to mount.  This is the third post in my holiday spending survey where I focus on some alternative and charitable gifting.  To read part one of my survey on holiday budgeting click here. To read my post about tips on saving money click here.

Here are some ideas that are a little "out of the box" that I hope help you with your gift giving this holiday season from people who tried them first.

Have you ever purchased an activity or event as a part of your holiday giving?

"We prefer doing this instead of buying toys.  They get enough stuff from other relatives and we like the idea of having family time vs. just another toy.  We encourage people to do the same." says E.

"I've bought theatre tickets and memories or events as a part of my gift giving for family, but not for kids yet." says G.

"One year we bought a family trip to Cuba. It blew her mind and was totally worth it!" says KM.

Have you ever participated in charitable giving instead of exchanging gifts?

When I read the reactions to this question I immediately thought of Seinfeld's character George Costanza and his fake charity "The Human Fund" that he made up because he was too cheap to buy gifts for people and giggled a little.  I think the key here to making charitable giving a success is to balance it with other family traditions and make sure that everyone is on board to balance the spirit of giving to others in need as well as your loved ones.

George Costanza
"George Costanza" by anticharisma.com. Licensed under Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of George Costanza via Wikipedia

"Nope, we're greedy and grinchy." says Uyen.

"One year I bought a goat for a family in need for my extended family in place of regular gifting.  It wasn't really well received and I wouldn't do it again." says Plover.

"Sometimes, I feel guilty saying this, but the charitable giving isn't quite as satisfying as seeing my child's face when they open their gifts." says KM.

"One side of the family started a tradition where we only buy gifts for the kids.  The adults each take $200 per couple and donate it to a charitable cause in place of gift giving.  We alternate who selects the charity of choice.  It alleviates a lot of stress and you're putting your money towards a good cause." says P.

Would you/do you have your kids participate in donating old/unused toys to help clear out clutter for the holidays and encourage a giving spirit?

"We donate stuffed toys that never really get played with, but for the most part we just end up moving toys to storage.  We need to clear things out more often." says Needs a Nap.

"I would donate, or sell items they've outgrown at a yard sale to make some money for the next year's holiday spending." says Plover.

"This is a spring cleaning activity for our family." says K.

I don't think it's really ever too soon to start teaching our kids about giving to others, whether it's donating old clothes or toys or purchasing items for kids in need.  How do you plan on teaching your kids about the holiday spirit?

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