In part 1, I talked about Christmas gifts, mainly those received by our kids.  Part 2 is about the gifts we give.  Every year, we (well, mostly me, except in the case of used items, which hubs is equally keen about) make a conscious effort to give from the following ‘categories’:

USED

Hubs and I love, like, I mean LOOOOOOOVE, buying things used.  Whether through local Facebook buy & sell pages, kijiji, or second-hand stores (is it sad that our fave store is Value Village?! Don’t answer that), whenever a need arises, we try to find used first (when appropriate of course – don’t worry kids, Mommy and Daddy haven’t resorted to buying used undies… yet).  Luckily, our kids are young enough that they couldn’t care less if things are used or not. And honestly, we’ve been doing it for a while now so they probably think it’s normal to have a lot of ‘pre-owned’ stuff. For social (more responsible, less wasteful), environmental (reduce pollution from manufacturing process), and of course financial (you can almost always find items in almost-new condition for a fraction of the price) reasons, buying used just can’t be beat!!  Just this year, we bought the following Christmas gifts used:

  • stocking stuffers for all 3 kids, including movies, books, craft supplies, games and hockey socks
  • a jacket, hoodie and long-sleeved shirt for our daughter A
  • a rolling hockey bag and Team Canada hockey jersey for our son N
  • a bike for our son M
  • an exercise bike for hubs’ dad
  • and a personal finance book for me (Dave Chilton’s The Wealthy Barber Returns)!

CHARITABLE

Every year, I make an effort to do some charitable giving.  This year, we:

  • bought school supplies for children in need in the name of the kids’ teachers (as part of their Christmas gift) through Plan Canada
  • bought water for a family in need in the name of my parents through Plan Canada
  • and made a donation to Siloam Mission in the name of my parents

EXPERIENCES

I like the idea of giving experiences over stuff, ie gift certificates for dinner dates, movies, spas, zoo passes, museum passes, etc.  Having said that, we didn’t give any such gifts this year… will have to make a conscious effort to do this next year…

We did receive some restaurant and spa gift certificates which we are super happy with because they’ll give us an excuse to have some date nights (something we’re trying to do more of now that the kids are getting older and actually want to have babysitters… like every day… almost like they prefer babysitters to their own parents… hrmph).

LOCAL / INDIGENOUS / HOMEMADE

For the past few years, I’d make an effort to include gifts from local and/or Indigenous shops or artists (jewelry, books, art, etc.).  I’d never make anything homemade because… well, I just didn’t make anything homemade!   But earlier this year, I started making my own health / beauty products.  It stated with making my own deodorant and toothpaste.  I mentioned it to the girls I curl with one night during post-game drinks and they were intrigued… They said they wanted to try the deodorant, so for Christmas, I made them all small jars of the stuff.  After using it, they loved it and one of them said she’d love to try a lotion with the same smell (tea tree and lavender), so I decided to try my first batch of lotion – oh, and lotion bars as well, because, well, why not?!  I then gave some of the lotion and lotion bars to my Mom and my sister-in-law, and some lotion bars to our 4 Brandon nieces.  I haven’t seen my friend who actually requested the lotion yet, but I also have a jar ready for her in my curling bag!  It turns out I really like making these kinds of products so I suspect they will become staples in my Christmas gifts for years to come.  I’ll post some recipes eventually (once I’ve fine-tuned them a bit more).

Do you have similar ‘categories’ for your gift-giving? Any different ones??  Do tell!

LS