"Gifting in America has become insane. So I’m changing my ways."
After becoming fed up with the material nature of the holiday season, a Redditor who goes by Somanycatsinhere, shared how she is putting her money towards things that matter rather than mindlessly buying gifts. Even though everyone's situation differs, the post is an excellent reminder that we don’t have to give someone a store-bought gift reflexively. Instead, we can focus on getting something they actually need.
“I’m over buying gifts to be thrown away or donated,” she started her post. “I decided I’m done.”
The Redditor explained she usually visits her family a few weeks before the holidays for a joint Thanksgiving and “Early Christmas” celebration, and this year, she took a different approach to gift-giving.
“I made a visit to my sister with my 3 amazing nieces. … The kids have everything they can need or want: toys and clothing-wise—and it’s all so overwhelming. The kids don’t even play with most of it. It’s just piled up everywhere,” she wrote.
So, instead of buying them more toys and clothes, she opened up a college fund for each niece, who receives a monthly amount “gifted” to them at birthdays and Christmas.
The woman's sister is having financial difficulties, so she got her something super practical. “Took my sister to the store and told her she could fill the cart with household items and groceries for her and her husband's Christmas present. Laundry soap, paper towels, toilet paper, groceries, etc. She loved it!” she wrote.
For her nephews who have everything, the poster gave them gift cards for their annual trip to Disney.
The woman's extended family “throws nothing away” and collects “everything,” so the Redditor got them to agree to a family Christmas trip instead of exchanging gifts.
The post received over 150 comments from people who shared their approach to giving gifts during the holidays. Many who responded said they prefer to buy experiences for their family members instead of material objects.
"I gift experiences. Like membership to a batting cage for my nephew or a season pass to the zoo. I suggested horseback riding sessions or archery lessons for my daughter and some kind of jump park or karate class for my son," Savvymama30a wrote. "I've also started buying more "experience" gifts than physical items. I've gotten gift certificates for massages, fancy restaurants, and concerts or shows for my parents the past few years," Purplezara added.
During these challenging economic times, practical gifts can be a huge help.
"I think, slowly but surely, people are coming around to this way of giving. As a practical person, I thoroughly appreciate being gifted things I’ll actually use,” Yourdailysugarcube wrote. "When I was younger and newly on my own, my mom would gift me bulk items from Costco like paper towels, garbage bags, etc, and while it isn’t glamorous, it saved me a lot of money. I really appreciated those gifts!"
Ultimately, the holidays are all about spending time together, expressing gratitude for one another, and embracing the things that truly matter in life. Everyone has their love language, but this Reddit poster seems to be on the right track by focusing on giving people gifts they can use instead of something they’ll stick on a closet or get rid of at a yard sale.