A Different Kind of Gift Giving Guide (for the mom who’s stressed about gifts)

If you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping yet, it’s probably a good indicator that gifts are not your love language. I’d like to normalize that. 

Gifts aren’t my love language either – I don’t feel any special connection when someone buys me a thing I could buy for myself – in fact I have a hard time feeling grateful about a gift sometimes because I already had plans to buy myself sometime similar. 

If you’re sitting here 10 days out to Christmas and you’re stressed about buying gifts – whether it’s your budget or your lack of knowing what the person wants – can I challenge you to just let go? 

When you are called to give gifts, when it excites you and lights you up inside, then do it. But if you’re sitting here still unsure if what to get someone – feelings stressed about how much you’re expected to spend, or unsure if this person will even like the gift you give them – then can I encourage you to skip the gifts this year? At least skip the traditional gift status quo. 

I’d love to normalize not giving gifts to EVERYONE and their brother every stinking year. I’d love to normalize not stressing about gifts or having to rework your budget just to afford the extravagance. 

I’d love to normalize only giving gifts to those you’re closest to, those who live in your home, those who you see often because you WANT to see them (not because your job has forced you to see them often – let’s do away with boss and teacher gifts as a standard). 

Let’s normalize graciously receiving a gift from someone whose language is gifts and responding with a coffee date instead. Let’s “gift” non material things that don’t get wrapped up to people who don’t like unwrapping gifts, let’s normalize relationships between two people who have different love languages insteading of caving into capitalism and big business and forcing everyone to accept love in the form of material possessions. (love isn’t possession). 

If the gifting stresses you out – don’t do it. Above all else, guard your heart. I’ve heard so many wonderful humans stand up in the last couple years and make the case for having solid boundaries in conversation or with who you’re willing to see at the holidays – can we please extend those boundaries to gifts? 

Not everyone expresses love through gifts, and that’s okay. Can we please stop pulling a Sheldon Cooper and reciprocating gifts based on monetary value – or feeling stressed about the amount spent? What’s even the point in that? If I give you $20 and you give me $20 couldn’t we have just skipped the gift giving and gone out for lunch together? 

Memories are more valuable than gifts. None of my favorite holiday memories have to do with what gift I received. Honestly, most gifts I can’t even remember who or where they came from because it’s not important. What was important is how I felt that Christmas day – baking cinnamon rolls for breakfast, a cozy fire and my whole family in one loud room together. 

Now if you’re listening to me go off on not feeling obligated to buy gifts this year – and gifts are a major cornerstone of your holiday traditions, and you’re feeling triggered by the idea of removing the gifts you dread gifting from your holiday – can we look at that for a second? 

You don’t like buying, you don’t like wrapping, you don’t like brainstorming and allocating a budget to every human and pet in your life, so why are you so reluctant to give it up? Consider it self care, a gift to yourself, to turn your focus at the holidays to what makes you feel full of love and excitement. If you really believe that Christmas is about family and memories, why are you spending every ounce of energy on something that creates bad memories for you? You’re meant to enjoy the holiday too. 

There’s always a couple options if you still want to keep the gifts but ditch the stress – let go of control over the gift giving. If you hate picking gifts, ask someone else to do it. If you don’t like buying material, get a groupon experience gift. If you just don’t know the person very well, get a basic food gift like a box of sausages (you’ve got to know the person well enough to at least know if they are vegan!). If it’s the money, then make it a thriftmas or a homemade thing (even if you aren’t crafty, you can design a wall print on your phone and put it in a dollar store or thrifted frame). Convince the whole family to do a white elephant exchange where you all bring a $100 gift instead of getting everyone a $20 gift. 

Whatever you decide to do, I hope it’s what YOU really want, and what lights you up and keeps you from the holiday stress that’s taken so many lives before. Remember what this season is really about for you and ask every day if your plans align with your spirit and what you want these holidays to look like. 


Published by Brittni Clarkson

Hi, I'm Brittni, author, podcaster, transformational speaker, and a mom of 3 boys, passionate about helping moms overcome the overwhelm and actually ENJOY MOTHERHOOD.

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