Gift Giving

I typically only buy gifts for my kids. As a single mom living on a strict budget, it can be difficult to find gifts they'll like, although I try my best. Still, after Christmas this past year, I started thinking about how the money I spent on them for gifts might be better used for something else. 

Over the holidays, I had quietly noticed something about both my children. My son, who works as a server in a restaurant, typically has a smaller income over the holidays and struggled to buy gifts for us over Christmas. My daughter, who is 17 and doesn't work, had no money to buy gifts so spent a good amount of time making homemade gifts for everyone this year - which were wonderful, by the way.

Bearing all this in mind, I talked to both kids and said, "Hey, I've been thinking. Instead of buying gifts for birthdays and Christmas, why don't I take you out for fun experiences?" Without hesitation, they both said yes. I then added, "Don't get me anything either. Save it to use for our experiences." 

With the a-ok from the kids, I started thinking about another fun trip we could do next summer (on a budget and fairly local). Then, I noticed that an obscure band I love is coming to town this Spring. I got into this band when my son was a toddler and I bought their CD. Over the years, I have played the shit out of it on my car stereo so both my kids really like them and when the three of us get together, more often than not, we play the album. I told the kids the band was coming to town and they immediately thought we should go. I bought our tickets and that's going to be one of the fun experiences.

I think providing experiences for my kids will be a lot more fun than gifts. Only time will tell.

(Also, if you're wondering if this fits into my "No Buy Year" - the answer is yes. I have a sinking fund for Gifts and I will use it for these kinds of things instead of physical gifts.)



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