There are all sorts of good reasons why you might want to stop buying Christmas presents. Maybe you just can’t afford it any more in these difficult financial times. Maybe you don’t have the time to go searching for the right gifts for everyone.
Maybe you can’t face the stress of crowded stores or complex online purchases, where you’re never quite sure if the gift will match the descriptions on the website.
Or maybe you just think the whole crazy Christmas buying frenzy has got completely out of hand and it’s time we all took a step back and called a halt to the materialistic madness.
Whatever the reason, you’re left with the tricky problem of letting your friends and family know that you’re not buying Christmas presents anymore and, of course, that you don’t want receive any either.
This can be tricky as you don’t want to come across as a Scrooge, or as being mean and miserable with no festive spirit.
So, how do you tell people you’re not buying Christmas presents?
How to stop buying so many Christmas presents
Well, you have several options depending on your circumstances and what your reason is for ending the present giving spree. You might not want to give your real reason if it’s something like you can’t afford it, or you haven’t got the time or you just can’t be bothered. That’s not a good look, although if you’re confident enough to be your own person, go with it.
Thankfully, for those who are not so bold, there is another way. Most people think Christmas has become too commercialised and that gives you an easy way forward. Tell everyone you think that we’ve lost the true spirit of Christmas and you want to keep things simple this year.
That means you’d love to see them at some point over the holidays, but you want to avoid presents, as you think the whole gift giving thing is unnecessary and just plays into the hands of unscrupulous big retailers who try to guilt trip you with the ‘Christmas is for giving mantra’ just to boost their profits.
Instead, you only want to buy presents for your children or grandchildren, because that’s what Christmas is really about.
You’ll find that many of your friends agree with you and wish they had the nerve to do the same. Make sure to tell them early though, so they don’t go out and buy you a present.
This is the kind of quick message you could send as an email or post on social media.
Merry Christmas to all my family and friends
Hope everyone has a happy and peaceful time. I’m looking forward to seeing as many of you as I can over the holidays. It will be so good to catch up.
I just want to say though, I think things have got too commercialised over the last few years and so I’ve decided not to do Christmas presents anymore. I won’t be handing any out and obviously I don’t want you to spend your hard-earned money on buying something for me.
Let’s just enjoy each other’s company. Isn’t that what really matters at Christmas?
If you like, you could add that you’re making a donation to charity instead of giving presents.
You might even find that some people receiving such a message will breathe a sigh of relief because they’re on a tight budget. Now there’ll be one less present for them to stress about because they don’t have to buy you anything. You’ll be a Christmas hero.
This may seem drastic but there is an alternative approach.
If you like the social aspect of Christmas and don’t object to spending money, it’s just that you don’t like spending it on presents that people probably won’t really want, then you could consider organising an activity as an alternative to gifts. This is becoming more popular.
For example, instead of spending money on presents, you could see if your friends would prefer to put that money towards going out for a meal together, or just a few Christmas drinks…or something grander like a day at the races or whatever.
Whether large or small, an event that brings people together has to be better than money spent on presents. Time spent with friends is far better for us than unwanted clutter that so many gifts become. Friendships are renewed and cemented…sometimes you might create memories that last for years.
Little social events in your town’s bars and restaurants are also good for your home community…supporting local businesses instead of shipping in trinkets from thousands of miles away. That will give you a nice warm feeling too.