On Giving Less This Holiday Season

Buying presents is the cornerstone of the Christmas season. I find a lot of it to be completely pointless. It’s nice to get the people you care about sentimental gifts, or to help out at charities or give out of the goodness of your heart. But, when people exchange twenty-dollar Starbucks gift cards, it makes no sense.

Cut out this section of the store when shopping.

Cut out this section of the store when shopping.

If you don’t feel like putting any more thought into a person’s gift than getting her a gift card, just don’t do it. Clearly this gift does not mean a lot at all. We end up running around spending money on these meaningless, generic gifts, and it completely taints what holidays are supposed to be about.

This holiday season I’m urging everybody to give less. Think before you buy something. Ask yourself, “will this person benefit from this?” or “will this strengthen the bond we have?” or even, “do I care about strengthening the bond?” If the answer is primarily no, then I think you know if you should waste your money.

Giving should be about building community, not consumerism. We pour all our money into building up these big companies and we forget about the people who may be hurting during the holidays.

The fact of the matter is, we often give these gifts that don’t require much thought to maintain business relationships or to save face in certain circumstances, but are these situations not just benefitting ourselves? If we aren’t giving for the sake of bringing joy to the recipient, than it’s typically for selfish reasons and not really giving at all.

So, here’s my challenge, cut out all those selfish gifts. Only give when it’s for the sake of giving. Don’t try to benefit yourself at all this holiday season.


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/6710882989/”>401(K) 2013</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;


3 thoughts on “On Giving Less This Holiday Season

  1. Pingback: On the Eve of Christmas Eve | Oshitbritt on Things

  2. What if someone asks for a gift card or if you know that the person loves Starbucks for example or there is some sentimental value between you and that person that is signified in the gift card (yours and that person’s favorite pastime together is getting coffee or something.) I actually am not sure if this is the best, most sentimental way to express this sort of thing, but I’m curious about your opinion of such a gift under these terms.

  3. Pingback: On the Eve of Christmas Eve | Oshitbritt

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