5 thoughts on “PSA: You are not obligated…

  1. I have MS and I live on disability. But I still haven’t gotten past the mindset of the time when I made decent money and could afford giving better gifts. Its a hard habit to break. Luckily I have a sugar-momma (wife-lol) that takes care of what I cant handle anymore. To take up some of the slack, what I’ve done lately is to turn some of my God-given talents into gifts. I do leather crafting, so I make belts. I do wood burning, so I burn and paint designs on birdhouses. There are more, but why ruin the surprise. Much of it is just a matter of technique that can be learned on the internet, places like Pinterest and youtube. Maybe it’s time to start avoiding the big box stores and start giving gifts with a more personaal touch. If you’re anything like me, you have plenty of time to research and come up with ideas.


    1. Hi Michael 🙂

      What wonderful ideas! Personalized gifts of your time, learned skill, energy, and love… I know I would far rather receive one of these than a random item from a big box store (except dark chocolate; I will always accept dark chocolate). And a bird house is a gift to the person, the birds local to them, and all the nature around it!

      Even though I have money now, I continue to choose to give carefully-selected gifts just to people that would like that particular item. I no longer feel obligated to give to everyone in my family (or neighbourhood, or classroom, or). If I find something in my home, in the local thrift shop, at a local artisan fair, or at the local farmer’s market that someone in particular would love, I pick it up. Our library was also giving out books, so I snagged eight of those. I’m giving out about 30 gifts this year (including to my child) and aside from one $30 item for my teen, everything combined totals $11.50. They’re thoughtful, relevant gifts, and it’s costing me next to nothing, with zero stress or debt resulting. We’ll all also spend a lot of time together, singing and playing board games (also from the thrift).


  2. Love creative gift giving, handmade and otherwise! And the number of gifts you are able to give for so little, Joon, just WOW! I am slowly trying to reduce the cost of Christmas and birthday gifts… I thought I was semi successful this year, but in review, well not so much. I did make and gift two sets of fun greeting cards (two, that’s it) but yikes on spending for my grown kids!! Help! More ideas, mindset changes, inspiration, anything you and readers can share… I am determinded to continue to strengthen my resolve to spend less (but enough) for next year AND give lovely, relevant gifts too. I did find a couple brand new dvd’s still in their packages to gift this holiday, at thrift stores. So between those and the cards, I’m making s-l-o-w progress… Hope everyone’s holidays sparkle brightly!


    1. My tribe has started opening presents already, lol, so I can tell you some of what has worked very well for us 🙂 Most of us have spent zero pennies to $1 on each gift, and they’re fantastic! At these prices (all second hand), people have opened really cool books, a brand new watercolour paint set, a much-wanted rain coat, a set of gorgeous craft-prompts… Many of the books for children and adults were zero to 25 cents at a library book “sale.” Several are scuffed, but none of us mind -the contents are just as wonderful as ever. Some new, locally-made items or fundraising pieces cost up to $3 each.

      Sounds like you did quiet well at the the thrift too, and yay to the handmade gift card sets!! Lucky recipients 🙂

      In my book, I mention my biggest tip: Start introducing these ideas long before each holiday or birthday. In the case of those happening in December, I would start talking with friends and family about it in January or February! At some point, though, any one member of a group needs to take the leap and just do it. Then people around us start to adjust to the new reality that we’ve created. They can continue doing whatever they like, but with a head’s up, our new actions are entirely fair…and our words or actions can pave the way to much ease for everyone around us, too!


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