Tuesday, December 1, 2009

One Holiday Down and One To Go!

This photo above is of an unknown person who, depending on how you look at it, is underwater and can't get free or is floating without a care in the world. I am in the former category and struggling to get into the latter. At the Basilica we survived Thanksgiving with a minor amount of fuss and lived through the succeeding Black Friday and Cyber Monday without stepping a toe in the door of a giant store. This is partly due to a lack of funds and partly due to a lack of interest. I was profoundly thankful this past weekend that we don't really need anything and am going to struggle to remember that as all of the shiny sparkly things beckon to me at every turn.

I said we did not step a toe inside a store. That doesn't mean I didn't tear up the internet buying up bargains for people on our list. And there were bargains. More than once I have praised Amazon and their Prime trial for free shipping. There are deals on top of deals out there so I'm not going to link to them. I am, however, going to give you a few tips on how we make the holidays livable and enjoyable here at the Basilica. Hope you can use some of them.

Limit your gift giving. I swear, it can be done. Not counting each other we are down to 7 people plus a book club gift and a little something for my technicians. Every year hack someone off your list. There is always someone that needs to go. I have friends with whom I exchange birthday gifts but about four years ago we banned gifts at Christmas. There was a collective sigh of relief among us that someone finally broke the seal.Do something that you always say you are going to do and never fit into the schedule. Every year my brother and sister-in-law go to Marker's Mark Distillery for their Christmas to-do and sleigh ride. Every year I wish we had gone with them. This year we are going.Find a signature hostess gift and give it to everyone. Make 10 small rum cakes and let them soak. Make a brittle or some spiced nuts. Do a crafty mistletoe thing. No matter what it is, get them ready now and you won't be racing around the day of the party trying to find something to take with you.Do something for someone else. It is easy to drop a gift into a barrel for toys for tots and very worthwhile. Sometimes, though, it is important to be more personal. It's important to give in a way that will affect you deeply. Figure out a way to do something that will give you a story to tell; a story that will affect someone else by the telling.No gift cards. I love a gift card, but I have decided that if a person is worth giving a gift to, they are worth figuring out what they would like. It takes effort but isn't that the point of giving?How do you simplify and personalize your holiday season?


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