Choosing Thoughtful Gifts

Many years ago, the adults in our extended family decided we would only buy presents for the kids. Life would be easier, and the Christmas budgets less stressed, if we didn’t buy for the grownups, we all agreed.

And then on Christmas Eve, as we opened our presents, there were gifts for all the adults from one branch of the family. “I’m sorry,” my sister-in-law confessed, “I just love choosing gifts to fit each person.”

The experiment ended a failure.

This year, we again agreed to forgo exchanging gifts altogether due to a stressful medical situation in the extended family. After all, even the kids are mostly adults now.

For the last several years, Les and I have given to the family through Gifts That Give Hope, Lancaster’s alternative gift fair. After all, it can be difficult to buy actual presents for people you rarely see. You don’t know what they have. You often don’t know their interests. Most of us already have plenty.

savethedate-1At Gifts That Give Hope, we’ve donated books to a childhood reading program in honor of the family of readers. We’ve given therapeutic horseback riding in the name of the family that’s loved their horses for years. Donations toward backpacks for kids in foster care or money toward adoption funding were made to recognize the family adoptees and the love and joy adoption brought to our families.

This year’s Gifts That Give Hope takes place on Saturday, December 10, at the Farm and Home Center in Lancaster.
As I thought about our no-gift Christmas, it made me sad. I love shopping the fair, picking out meaningful presents that impact the life of a person in need while honoring a person we love. Now we weren’t buying presents

And then I realized I still good attend the fair. I could still buy presents that honor my extended family. And I don’t even have to tell them!

So this year I will be the sister-in-law breaking the pact. But it’s people outside our family that will benefit.

That person who has everything doesn’t need one more thing. In fact, many of us don’t.

So if you’re local, consider joining us at the Gifts That Give Hope alternative gift fair on December 10. If you’re not local or you’re busy on the 10th, you can still shop the fair online.

Or shop one of the many charitable organizations that have their own gift catalogs:

And if you’re not supposed to be exchanging gifts (like me), you can just smile knowing you honored them and did good without them even knowing.

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