I woke up last Friday to more than 30 emails yelling at me to HURRY! BUY THIS! DON’T MISS THIS! And they kept coming, dozens and dozens of emails filling my inbox between Friday and Tuesday, making sure I knew about the latest sale, best deal, and reminding me that I only had a few hours left to make Christmas perfect by buying THE BEST gifts of the year.
Most of the email were deleted, some were opened, only a few were clicked on. Sadly, by the time “Giving Tuesday” rolled around I was so sick of my inbox and overwhelmed by all the great ways I could give back that I found myself in compassion fatigue. I didn’t do anything because there were so many options.
When I heard from you at the beginning of November, a lot of you were already experiencing the stress and pressure of gift buying. Here were just a few of the things you shared with me:
- What to get family members who already have everything
- Finding the perfect gift for everyone
- The tension between commercialism and the One True Gift
- Stretching finances between a large family
Y’all. I get it. We had the best plans to do the four-gift thing for our daughter this year (Read, Wear, Want, Need) and that quickly turned into four gift bags of “themed” gifts. The lists of “must have” gifts of the season make us feel like nothing less than perfection will do for our gifts. Can I give you some encouragement?
Holy hustle gift-giving is about celebrating the gifts God has given us and recognizing the gifts of others. For the family members who have everything, consider creating an experience that will give them memories that will last a lifetime. Instead of putting the pressure of finding the perfect gift on yourself, consider giving what the recipient truly wants (even if that means gift cards or cash, or some other gift that doesn’t feel like it’s “enough” to you. It’s not about you.) As you look at your budget, consider going together with other family members to give gifts that celebrate quality over quantity, and believe that it really is your thoughtfulness that counts.
It can be hard to keep faith at the focus of our celebrations when feel pulled in so many other directions. One way we’re doing #LessSantaMoreJesus in our home this year is by adopting my friend Eryn’s idea for an Advent Angel instead of an Elf on a Shelf. Combined with Amanda’s Truth in the Tinsel activities, our mornings will begin with all the fun of the Christmas season but with a faith-inspired twist.
If shopping and finding those special gifts brings you joy, celebrate that! And if finding the perfect gift causes you anxiety and stress, let it go and rest knowing that you – and whatever you do for the holidays – is enough (or ask that friend who loves it to help you!).
And if you need a few ideas, I did put together a mini gift guide for you, one that will help you celebrate with hostess gifts, gifts that give back, gifts that will encourage all year long, and some special gifts for kids.