There are going to be some shocks in our family this Christmas. Most of the people that we buy gifts for are not getting one. We are not going all ‘Bah Humbug’ and doing a Scrooge, indeed quite the reverse, we have given Christmas much more thought this year than we ever have previously.
Every year we sit and rack our brains as to what we should buy our family members. Every year those relatives we rarely see get chocolates and wine because we have no idea about their preferences, hobbies and interests.
Those relatives we do see have everything they need and a hell of a lot of stuff they don’t.
A kids in the family have almost every electronic games system it’s possible to buy between them. They have iPads, and phones as well…what else is there? Nothing according to them except the newest game system, iPad or phone.
Well, we’ve decided we are not playing this game anymore.
All the adults receive their gift with the words ‘Oh you shouldn’t have” so this year we have took their word for it and we haven’t.
What’s more, we’ve sent free electronic Christmas cards this year requesting that people don’t buy us gifts but do something useful with the money instead. Most people will ignore this and once again we will have half a dozen scarves apiece and enough chocolates to put at least an inch on our waistlines.
We have saved a good amount of money by not buying cards for anyone who isn’t a very close family member. All the money we have saved on gifts that are only given because we feel we have to, has also been set aside. Our closest relatives, our kids and siblings have been given small items that reflect their hobbies and interests…the cash we have saved has been added to the pot.
The kids in the immediate family are going to get the biggest shock. They have been brought craft kits…complete with instructions on how to do them and best of all none of the kits requires batteries or electricity.
Coming from a large family we have saved in all just shy of $2000. This we have decided to donate to an organization that assists homeless veterans.
We have also sorted out all the past gifts we have been given and never used. After a little re-wrapping they have gone to a shelter to spread a little cheer to those who may have nothing this Christmas.
Can you imagine not having a home to come back to at the end of the day? Can you imagine, the cold seeping into your bones as you try and sleep rough in the middle of winter?
These are things we have never experienced We are fortunate but many are not and often it’s through no fault of their own. The decision to stop giving ‘stuff’ to those that don’t need it, but in a small way supporting those that do is the right decision for us. In truth we regret not doing it before but better late than never.
So yes, the extended Carrington family may well be surprised in ways they never imagined this Christmas.