This year, my siblings and our families have agreed not to exchange gifts. None of us needs anything, and all of us are a little tired of this holiday over-merchandising, so this is perfect. For a couple of siblings, I already had some gifts in the works, but no mind, they'll make perfect birthday gifts. I'll still get some gifts for my immediate family, but it won't be the free for all that I've tended to get sucked into in the past.
I'm enjoying this new practice when it comes to gift giving. I do have some die hard friends who love exchanging small gifts, so I'll continue this, but the rest of it is a relief to let go. And I'm quite sure, I'll be buying more chickens and roosters for my friend's CSA outreach program in Nicaragua. I wondered about the family who got the chickens last year. Did they have eggs to eat and sell? Did the chickens survive? Is that family's life better? It warms my heart to think something so small--the cost of one or two unwanted gifts here--would make a huge difference to someone in need.
So to all those big retailers out there, I'm sorry, but I won't be partaking in this annual mad rush to buy goods I don't want or need. My digits won't be in your final tally on the last, or any other Friday. To local retailers, I promise to shop in your stores this season to purchase the things I think the small group of people I do exchange gifts with will enjoy. I'm going to practice 3/50 mindfulness when I head out the door with my recycled shopping bags.
Lucky for me, you're all in walking distance.
How about you? How will you lighten your burdens this holiday season?