How do you tell people you're not going to give them Christmas presents this year? To ensure that your announcement is well-received, you must address both the practical and emotional aspects of gift-giving. You'll find seven tips for gently telling individuals you won't be giving them a present this Christmas season without anyone suspecting you're Mr. or Ms. Grumpy.
The Christmas season begins sooner and earlier each year. It began the day after Thanksgiving a generation ago. Our great-grandparents celebrated the 12 Days of Christmas a generation or two before that. Back roughly a hundred years, most people set up their Christmas tree on Christmas Eve for a two-day celebration.
However, as soon as a pumpkin spice item returns to the Starbucks menu, you know that businesses are getting ready for the holidays, and Christmas sales are being marketed as "Pre-Pre-Black Friday Bonus Days." If your budget requires you to cut back on holiday spending, or if you simply prefer a less gift-focused Christmas, and you plan to buy fewer or no gifts this year, the best time to tell them is RIGHT NOW.
● As early as possible, establish their expectations.
Today would be an excellent choice! Thanksgiving dinner, when everyone is gathered around the table, may appear to be an ideal moment to discuss your gift-purchasing plans, but it is actually too late. Furthermore, this Thanksgiving, it's likely that not everyone in your extended family will be present, as in previous years.
● Keep Your Promise After You've Agreed Not to Buy Someone a Christmas Present You can't fall off the gift-giving wagon if you've vowed not to offer gifts! I had an email from a woman who couldn't figure out why her sister-in-law didn't accept her present gracefully. They had decided not to exchange Christmas gifts, although the woman who wrote to me was far wealthier than her wedded younger brother and his wife.
● Mention the advantages of buying fewer (or no) Christmas gifts this year for everyone involved. When you bring up the matter, if you mention how you don't have enough money to give everyone a gift, the attention is on what this is doing for you, not on what it is doing for them. Furthermore, if they have less money than you (or believe they have), but plan to spend the same amount this year as last, they may regard you as Scrooge. And, of course, it is not who you are. What is the answer? Mention how, with the economy in doubt, everyone has been looking for methods to save money. Inform them that being frugal this year is the nicest gift anyone in the family can give each other.
● What Should You Do If You Receive an Unexpected Christmas Gift from Someone Who Agreed Not to Give You a Present? Accept a gift gratefully if it comes as a surprise, even if the two of you had agreed not to exchange them." I'm surprised by your present," say pleasantly while holding the item. We chose not to trade gifts, so I have nothing to offer you in exchange.” Then you can open the present and express your gratitude to the recipient. “This sweater is stunning, Pat! Thank you very much!” ( When opening a gift, it can be tough to know what to say.) ● Gather your supporters first – other family members who are open to not exchanging gifts this year. Who in your family will be the most open to the concept, and who will be the least? Contact the members who are most responsive first. Then, when you talk about it with the less enthusiastic individuals, bring up the others who are already on board!
● How to Inform Friends and Coworkers That You Would Prefer Not to Exchange Christmas Gifts This Year Agree now that you would rather make someone else's Christmas exceptional than trade gifts with each other this year. If your office normally exchanges Secret Santa gifts or participates in gift-exchanging games, you could offer that instead, everyone pitch in to give gifts to needy children or families this year.
● How to Persuade Other Parents Not to Exchange Christmas Gifts with Your Children's Friends Plan a virtual or socially distanced holiday-themed play-date of creating cookies, simple gingerbread houses, or crafting a gift for a family member using the same manner as number 5 above. Alternatively, have everyone bring a gift for a needy child and have a gift-wrapping party.
Remember that if you have agreed not to give gifts, everything counts, including Christmas ornaments and decorations, potted plants and flowers, modest goods, handmade crafts, and so on.