Saturday, December 23, 2017

Giving experiences instead of things

"Becki Svare has made a radical decision: She won’t buy any more Christmas presents.
It started a few years ago as an experiment with her extended family. The holiday season began as it often did, with a dozen family members drawing names out of a hat. But instead of buying gifts for each other, they had to come up with a ­meaningful experience to share with their designated person. Suggested price: $20 to $25.
Svare’s children took their aunts kayaking. Her brother took his 9-year-old nephew for a ride on his Harley-Davidson, then out for sushi and a trip to the local reptile center. Others went to the zoo."


ricpic said...

I can't remember being gifted as a child. Not zero gifts but close to it. And it followed from that fact that I wasn't a gift hungry kid. You might think the opposite would be the case, but if a kid hardly gets any gifts they're not something on his mind. In other words I didn't feel deprived. Because I wasn't deprived. I did have a set of blocks that I played with endlessly. Those blocks were very absorbing. But toy trucks and toy cars and the million other things that kids get and lose interest in quickly, nah. Anyway, I think the gift culture is very destructive in the sense that a kid starts seeing others as only of value if they cough up something for ME. Who knows, maybe my parents were cheap. They were, after all, young adults when the great depression struck. So maybe it was accidental. But not being indulged worked. As to giving experiences, how about the experience of getting together. I am forever grateful for the family get-togethers at my Aunt Rose' and Uncle Carl's house. They were the alpha aunt and uncle of all the other aunts and uncles and their house was where we all wound up. What a gift those get togethers were.

edutcher said...

You want an experience?

Look in on the relative in the nursing home. On a regular basis. No wonder people get loopy in there. And the time you spend will be appreciated.

And, yeah, I got all the stuff, but I got mostly stuff related to things that interested me, rather than what somebody else wanted mo to be interested in.

It's not how much, it's what.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Love the idea of experiences for Christmas. Memories last much longer than gifts.

Some of my best Christmas memories as a child are of going on vacations with my parents, brother and extended family. We traveled a lot, so Santa was not the central part of Christmas for us. After all how could he find us when WE didn't even know where we would be from year to year? He usually managed to send one or two presents though, when we were really little and not too discerning about the logistics.

I don't really remember the gifts....I'm sure there were some......Just the fun experiences. Once we settled down and stopped traveling then Christmas became more of a traditional thing.

Many of those experiences and memories are still preserved on old 8mm film that my father took back in the day much of which we were able to digitize.

ndspinelli said...

The most vivid memories were having Christmas Eve w/ my extended family in the basement of my Aunt Helen. We had the traditional 7 fish feast and we would get cash for gifts. All my aunts and uncles and grandma would get those Christmas envelopes from the bank that showed the President or statesmen face. We didn't want to see Washington or least Lincoln and Praise Jesus if you saw Andrew Jackson.

deborah said...

My mom gave us as good Christmases as she could. Dad drank, she worked, and she would run up the charge card from Christmas to Christmas, with school clothes in the Fall added in. And she would be cheerful on Christmas Eve with us, though Dad was out.