Simplifying Christmas

Just two days after we’ve all shared our gratitude for the people and things in our lives, we’re already in the thick of the Christmas shopping season.  This year, the Hanley Household is attempting to simplify our gift-giving and avoid the crazed hordes at the mall.  Needless to say, I was not up before dawn on Friday to go shopping.  Since neither Shane nor I really have anything on our Christmas list (and we’re pretty broke), we decide to challenge ourselves in our gift exchange this year.  Instead of buying the same things as millions of others at Target, I wanted to get creative and support small businesses along the way.  The rules for our gift exchange are below:

  1. We will not spend over $75 on each other
  2. Gifts can be handmade, thrifted, or purchased from a small business (Etsy shops count)
  3. No gifts from big box stores!

With regards to Tristan, or plan is to follow this:

Found via Pinterest (click image for original source)

Our goal is to set healthy expectations about gifts and instill  a sense of gratitude in our children from the very beginning (and re-instill in ourselves).

I should also add that I’ve decided against sending Christmas cards this year.  I absolutely love sending and receiving Christmas cards in the mail and with the little guy’s first Christmas it was hard to resist making the perfect photo card!  I find myself already over-committed to other things, why would I add one more thing to my to-do list?  I’ll admit that giving myself permission to skip this one thing is quite freeing! No stamps to buy, no envelopes to address.  That’s more time I have to enjoy with my family and that’s absolute happiness to me.

We’re hoping our gift exchange “challenge” will simplify our season and make it a bit more enjoyable.  We’ll check in post-Christmas and let you all know how we do.

Anybody else looking to simplify this year? What are your plans for gift-giving? Was anyone out at midnight on Thanksgiving looking for the best deal? Who else is skipping on the Christmas cards?


3 thoughts on “Simplifying Christmas

  1. Pingback: Pizzelles – A Christmas Tradition « Home By Hanley

  2. Pingback: Hello 2013! « Home By Hanley

  3. Pingback: A Simplified Christmas « Home By Hanley

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