Senseless Gift-giving

Steve and I have been doing a lot of thinking lately concerning the overwhelmingly popular American view of gift-giving at Christmas-time.  Where did the days of "a shiny new penny and an orange in the stocking" go?  Why do people insist on going into debt just to purchase gifts (and often times, unneeded gifts) for their children and family members?

Obviously, I love to receive gifts.  And I also love to give gifts.  But this Christmas, I just want to be mindful of a balance between wise and unwise spending.  A balance between unnecessary splurges and genuinely useful gifts.  Now, don't get me wrong--I love to buy things for Steve and my family that I know they will enjoy immensely. . .but it must be within our budget.

Really, I am not trying to become a Scrooge.  Instead, I hope that I will be a wise spender, yet also a generous giver this Christmas season.


  1. Good good thoughts and questions to ask. I brought something home the other day as a gift for a friend and Tim asked me Why in the World I bought that. He said "Nobody needs that..." so, I'm balancing these things right now too.

  2. Good thoughts! I've really been thinking alot about the "American Christmas" as well. I love gifts, both giving and getting. I definitely never understood going into debt at Christmas just to buy the "perfect" gift. However, I've been guilty of buying senseless gifts before and probably this year too. Thanks for the added things to think about.

  3. We are not buying gifts for our children or each other for Christmas this year. (I know...gasp!) The money just isn't there for one thing, but more than that, we want our children to learn the difference between "want" and "need", we want them to learn to be content with what they have, and we want them to learn to be thankful for what they already have. The little gifts like "a penny and an orange" are just cast aside, even by my children, because they are so use to receiving things. We're just trying to simplify life and get out of the consumer mindset that is so strong here in the U.S.

    I'm not trying to be pious or Scrooge here. I think gift-giving is a great thing. The problem, most often, is with the gift receivers, and we want our children to learn to be good givers and receivers.

  4. Katie--I am right there with you. I am trying to be balanced!

    Mommy--I hear you. What a wise mother you are--I know you, so I know you are not a Scrooge or trying to be pious. I would be really surprised if your kids don't look back on this Christmas and appreciate the lessons that will be taught. I love the fact that you love your children and are wanting them to realize the many gifts that they already have!

    Merry Christmas! Thanks for your thoughts, friends!

  5. this is something we've been working through the last few years as well. it is really hard to balance. every year we have cut down our gift list and I wonder if we are just being scrooge's. but it doesn't make sense to spend money on gifts that really are senseless. I have learned to appreciate just time with friends and family and to me that is the greatest gift. I know when I'm receiving those "obligatory" gifts and feel bad that maybe somebody spent money on me that could have been better used somewhere else. maybe our nation wouldn't be in such a bad credit state if everyone wasn't worried about "keeping up with the Jones"!


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