Oh wow, its already Christmas time! A very famous song that pops up almost everywhere is by Mrs. Carey, singing “All I want for Christmas is you!”. But you know, sometimes while strolling through my hometown, seeing all these super busy and stressed out people, it feels more like “All I want for Christmas is presents!”.
So, this year my family and I decided to change something about our habits during the “holy” Christmas time. We decided to spend a maximum amount of 15 € per person per gift.
Here are 4 reasons why we chose to do so.
1. How much do we spend on Christmas presents?
A few days ago I heard something really interesting on the radio which made me overthink a few things about Christmas.
Germans are expected to spend around 465,70 EUR for all Christmas presents this year. The retail sectors earned about 94,5 million EUR during the past 12 years of Christmas seasons.
Americans on the other hand will spend an average of 660 USD. The American retail sector earned around 3.19 trillion USD in 14 years of Christmas.
This year, for me (giving presents to my brother, his wife, my mom and my boyfriend) this would be a maximum (!) total of 60 EUR.
These numbers may or may not scare you, but for us, we realized, we definitely spend way too much money on THINGS.
2. How can we give more with less?
Just to make something clear: we’re not completely against presents. We just love the idea of putting some thought into finding something that will be loved and enjoyed.
I know, its harder to find something big, something that means a lot to your partner, your mom, your dad, your siblings, which might look like peanuts to you. But in the end, this present will come from your heart and the gift receiver will know this and deal with it in a different way. Also, if you’re interested in celebrating a minimalist Christmas and/or giving minimalist Christmas presents, there are lots of ideas that google will tell you.
3. What are the alternatives?
Telling someone exactly what you want. Then they spend the exact same amount of money on a gift that they asked you to buy in return. Doesn’t this sound a little pointless to you? I have always preferred presents that come from the heart instead of from the wallet. There are tons of DIY ideas on platforms like Pinterest (I found some really cool stuff here).
4. What is Christmas all about?
And I’m not going into Christian beliefs here. What is the MAIN purpose for you coming together with your family and celebrating the season of love and peace?
We love the idea of our family coming together on Christmas eve. Since we all come from different directions, taking time out to share stories, eating good food and definitely playing some board games, is much more valuable than any gift could be.
“Presence over presents”
It is up to you how you will handle things on Christmas. Some people may think, wow, you’re spending that much money? Some people may think, wow, you’re spending so little money? If you’re someone who loves Christmas, and gift-giving and/or gift-receiving, this could be an idea to do things a little differently this year. Transforming a stressful, worried season into a holy, peaceful one could be a way of finding the purpose of Christmas again.
PS: even Hank gets tired of too many presents ;-).