For many Americans, a big part of the holidays involve giving presents to others. But it’s perfectly fine and feasible to not give gifts to family and friends and still enjoy the holiday season.
In fact, if the tough economy or a job layoff has taken a toll on your household budget, this could be the year to not spend any money at all on gifts. Even if you do have money in a bank account to spend, it’s important to realize that there are plenty of other ways to celebrate the season without making all the festivities centered on gift-giving.
Still, the average American is expected to spend $704 on holiday gifts in 2011, according to the National Retail Federation. Should you opt out of this year’s holiday shopping frenzy like the folks who’ve joined Buy Nothing Day? Perhaps. Here are five reasons why it might be wise not to spend any money at all on gifts on Black Friday and this entire holiday season. —Lynnette Khalfani-Cox
You Can Give Homemade Gifts Instead
Bake up some sweet treats, write someone you love a heartfelt letter, or use crafts and supplies that you have around the house to make some homemade gifts this holiday season. This strategy will not only help you save money but can also give you a chance to give a more meaningful gift.
To Give the Gift of Time or Your Talents
To Celebrate People, Not Things
For Christians, the Christmas holiday is first and foremost about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. But even more broadly, for most people (Christians and non-Christians alike) the holidays are about spending time with the ones you love and being thankful for the blessings in your life. It’s so easy to forget the real meaning of the holidays when you’re caught up with filling that giant gift list. Focus on planning budget-friendly get-togethers with family and friends (think potlucks, etc.) so you’re not spending so much time and money on the act of gift-giving.
To Be More Eco-Friendly
Did you know that approximately 4 million tons of gift wrap and shopping bags make their way to the landfills each holiday season in the United States alone? Celebrate a “green” holiday season by reducing waste and excess. Even the extra boxes, plastic and packaging of holiday gifts will need to be recycled or thrown into a landfill. Consume less this season to support the planet.
For all these reasons, and more, it’s worth considering enjoying a gift-free holiday season.