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Gift Purchasing
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It’s that time of year! Have you started your shopping? Does holiday gift giving really need to include “shopping”? When asked, family and friends often report that holiday foods or other activities, rather than purchased gifts, can make for a happy holiday.
Whatever the case may be, hopefully there is a plan in print and hopefully the family has had some input on how to spend your hard-earned money. The family may not agree to skip gift-giving, but they may agree to cut down on spending or choose to save money for something special such as a vacation or a special event.
Consider the following ideas as an option instead of the long list of wants.
1.  Buy a “family gift, such as a board game or a basketball goal, and then get the whole family together to play with it.
2.  Volunteer, as a family, and do something for the community. Some families help serve food at the soup kitchen or the community holiday meal.
3.  If children get upset because they didn’t get something they wanted, parents should show compassion and affection, but reinforce the idea that people may not always get what they want in life.
4.  Remember that young children don’t necessarily determine fairness by the amount of money spent, but rather by the number of gifts received. For example, a child many find it unfair if he or she receives fewer gifts than another child receives, even if the total value of the gifts is equal.
Probably the most important thing to remember is that children and even grandparents probably would rather have “presence” than “presents”. Try to find time during the holiday season to spend some quality time with your children. Consider an activity where you actually have to communicate and share ideas. Just sitting in front of the TV set and watching a football game doesn’t really allow for family interaction.
The gift of love is the most personal and special present you can give. Share it with your family during this holiday season.