As the Christmas holiday season approaches, I am contemplating ways to make it a minimalist holiday season. Those on my buying list have no genuine needs. They might have wants, but that’s not the same as needs.
My grandkids are in their teens or soon to be. They lack nothing and have a closet filled with clothes, comforts of a good home, food on the table and electronic devices up the wazoo. What they believe to be lacking in their life are expensive items like owning their own vehicle free and clear (you know, that new Jeep parked at the local dealership), prepaid car insurance until they finish college & university degrees (paid for, of course, by someone other than themselves).
It’s the wave of the current generation; the one we helped to create by giving them (our kids and grandkids) everything they desire with little regard to words like: earn, work, deserve, merit or most importantly, saying no.
This year, I have determined that the gifts on my shopping list will be genuinely gifted from the heart.
What does that mean?
I like to think of it as ‘pay it forward’ gifts. It’s not about what you receive, but what you gift to someone else. It could be buying a cup of hot cocoa for the volunteer person who rings the bell for Salvation Army donations. Maybe it’s baking cookies or a Bundt cake for local firefighters or police officers, or dropping quarters in the a laundromat washing machine to pay for someone’s next load.
I have posted my agenda, should you want to consider a minimalist Christmas this year. Yes, I am starting early, but the initial planning takes some pre-planning because the thought process involves thinking of others before us.
My grandkids won’t receive any Christmas gifts from Neenee & Poppy unless they fulfill the (15) required ‘Pay It Forward’ items on the list below. Some items can be done jointly; others must be done solo. The agenda will start November 24 and must be completed by December 22.
- Deliver indoor plant to someone in a nursing home (jointly)
- Buy a cup of hot cocoa for the Salvation Army person ringing the bell (solo)
- Bake something for firefighters or police officers (jointly)
- Put a quarter in a gumball machine and walk away (solo)
- Put enough quarters in a laundromat washing machine for someone to do a load (solo)
- Print up some inspiring signs and post around town (jointly)
- Leave a card on someone’s door step that tells them you prayed for them today (anonymously). Pray over the card before leaving on doorstep. (solo)
- Post a sheet of random ‘Pay It Forward’ tear-off compliment’s at neighboring stores/businesses
- Drop off a meal to a widow. (jointly)
- Leave a box of goodies in your mailbox for your mail carrier. (jointly)
- Spend some time with the elderly. There are many people in retirement homes that have no one who visits them. Ask the local facility staff if there’s someone whose day you could brighten. (either jointly or solo)
- Send a handwritten card to someone you know, unexpectedly. (solo)
- Put post-it notes with positive sayings on random lockers at school. (solo)
- Write a 200 word letter to your parents about why you love them. (solo)
- Donate a much loved toy or item of clothing to someone in need within the community. (solo)
I look forward to sharing photos and comments of our Pay It Forward Christmas season.