The holidays are a time for festive activities, spending time with family and, for many, holiday shopping. The clever jingles and holiday specials that bombard every media medium are inescapable. Most keep their cool during the shopping madness and you want to believe that people would be even more kind a patient considering that the holidays are a time for being cheerful and kind. Unfortunately, some seem to loose it. Black Friday is a great example of some of the crazy, extreme holiday shopping that takes place. The pepper spray incident at Walmart was a perfect demonstration.
It is easy to get overwhelmed with the holiday shopping excitement and frenzy and lose sight of what the holidays mean to you and your family. I am sure if you asked anyone, they would tell you that the holidays are not about gift purchasing and super sale savings, however, it is difficult to ignore or participate in such a pervasive element of the season. The majority of Americans do participate: The San Diego Union-Tribune recently reported that retailers generally rely on customer shopping between Thanksgiving and Christmas to make up 20 percent of their annual sales.
After seeing the Walmart pepper spray video, I was reminded of what the holidays mean to me. Holidays are about honoring our relationships and traditions with family, friends and the community. With that being said, this year my family is doing something a little different. We are not buying any new gifts for one another; we are going to be a little more creative and personal in our gift giving. We are giving alternative gifts that are no or low cost and unique. For us, this is a fun way to build memories, start traditions and give back.
Here are some alternatives to buying a gift:
Click here for some great volunteer opportunities in San Diego.
What are you doing this season that does not involve buying a new gift?