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Tips for Letting People off the Hook during the Holiday Gift Giving Season

My Christmas Tree 2010

Some people get so depressed about not being able to give gifts during the holiday season that they might not attend a holiday family function or if they do attend they are feeling so down that they do not act like themselves.

It is very unfortunate and some people really need to be verbally ‘let off the hook’ so they can get through the season and the big day. If you know people in this situation give them the biggest gift of all by letting them “off the hook” for holiday present exchange.

From my experience- it really is one the greatest gifts  you can give to friends and loved ones. Just recently my mother did it for me!

We had planned a trip back home to the East Coast months ago -and then an unexpected move and other family obligations happened so  it just did not make a holiday trip feasible. I did not want to tell my mother, in fact I dreaded telling her…but she instinctively  knew and she called and told me she understood. It was the biggest relief of guilt ever this year and I appreciated her knowing we wanted to come but yet it was too much of a hardship to actually do it this year.

Eleven great things you can say in these difficult types of Holiday situations:

Lisa Homemade Apple Pie
  1. We are focusing the day on the great food, our warm house, and the pleasure of your company.
  2. We are focusing our own gift giving for the little children so no gift is needed for adults and the children have plenty of gifts to open.
  3. You have done so many things for us this past year that we just want to celebrate in appreciation of you and everything we have done together/been through together over the last 12 months.
  4. If the person insists on giving, you can make a great suggestion of homemade gifts.
  5. I really love that ____ (food item) you make, if you would like to make that, it would save me so much time and be the perfect gift – plus it would relieve me of so much stress on Christmas Day!
  6. I really love homemade decorations and my tree/wall/man room (or insert other appropriate relevant suggestion) really needs more decorations.
  7. I really love old family/friend pictures if you have some to share, I would love one or two as a gift for my scrapbook!
  8. I really loved when you babysat or walked my dog (or other service the person has provided in the past) so a written gift certificate  (on notebook paper) would be just the perfect  gift and really give me something to look forward too!
  9. If you have any books or magazines about _______ I would love to have them as a gift.
  10. Please donate your time to a local charity in my name such as the food bank or humane society. It would make me very happy!
  11. If you have any holiday DVD movies, we would love to have some of them so we could have a family movie holiday! I will even make the special holiday popcorn!

Many times people you know will express worries about bills and items they need for their own families for the holidays.  There are many ways you can offer assistance and resources:

Let them know you are giving them a gift certificate for a local grocery store or department store. This lets them know that they may have a cushion and allow them to buy for their immediate family.

You can also suggest craft items that you have made in the past for special occasions and let them know where to get supplies that are reasonably priced. You may also let them borrow a sewing machine or glue gun, beads, wood scraps and donate  ideas that you find on the Internet (lots of DIY sites)  or at the local library. This should help spark ideas and creativity!

If things are looking really difficult for family or friends try to get them on a church angel list or point them to a website called ‘2 Hands’. It is a website about one hand helping another and is located at http://www.2hands.org/. You may even offer use of your computer to help them get registered.

Also, Kitsap County has  local resources that may be available for utility assistance and food. You can print out this list below and give it to them and offer a ride or even just understanding of difficult times and let them know that they are not alone. http://www.bremertonschools.org/studentsfamily/services/Kitsap_Community_Homeless_Low_Income_Resource_Guide%20%282%29.pdf

The best thing you can say is “I have faith in you” and “I love/care for you” and “We are looking forward to celebrating the holiday with you.” “Be here at ___ time” or “I will have _______ name of person pick you up -so be ready for the day!”

Share your abundance and have a safe, warm and meaningful holiday!

Lisa Jachimowicz
Suquamish/Poulsbo, Washington
Designs of the Times -What Inspires You?

Design is everywhere. It can be in the food we eat, the art we buy or the Jewelry we wear. The Designs of the Times Blog is about the people, places and things that help us a enjoy the abundance of creativity all around us. Join us as we showcase the rich designs of our surroundings that make up this great area we call home- Kitsap County! We hope to bring inspiration, joy and creativity to all who read our Blog.


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