Christmas Gifts Simplified

As much as moms work to focus on celebrating Christmas as Catholics, consumerism abounds in our culture. Most families have been busy buying, wrapping, and sending gifts and driving themselves crazy. Let's see if I can simplify your life a little bit.

1. Buy a box of small manila tags with string available in any office supply store, tags designed for tagging electronic cords, or make sure you have tape in your label maker. As soon as any electronic cords come out of their box, be at the ready to tag them to identify what device they belong to. I go so far as to label mine "plug into camera here". I can't tell you how many unidentified cords I find in my clients' homes. Everything they are using already has their chargers so what could this one possibly go to? Don't rely on your memory. Tag the cords.

2. Instead of buying rolls of wrapping paper, simplify by buying plain white craft paper. One year I found Christmas poems and decorated the paper with a line or two from a poem. My children have never forgotten that Christmas. Craft paper is a fresh canvas for beautiful bows, a beautiful drawing, or other kind of personalization. Children get to decorate their own gift paper. I've also used Christmas fabric to wrap my packages. Reusable, inexpensive, and beautiful. Gift bags are always a popular option.  My brother is a pilot and uses outdated maps as gift wrap.

3. I hate to admit it but I don't always remember who gave me what gift. I have a Word document titled "My Christmas Gifts" where I note what I received and from whom. It's saved me a lot of grief.

4. What about the person who has everything or always asks you not to buy them anything? Buy them time. Take grandparents to a play or live musical event. Hire a cleaning, window washing, or yard service for a one-time deep clean for someone who is overwhelmed. Hire a handyman for a few hours to take care of things on your husband's To Do list even though he's capable of getting it done himself.

Copyright 2012 Nancy Nemitz