Slow Christmas: Start Planning Now!

by | Nov 7, 2011 | holidays | 6 comments

Hello all. This is your annual reminder post about having Slow Holidays. You can read the original post here; what it says, basically, is that you should give fewer gifts, make them more meaningful, and encourage everyone to open one gift and enjoy it for a while before going on to the next one.

As usual, I am feeling fairly overwhelmed by Stuff, and am thinking I’ll get each child three or four things (which still amounts to twelve new items coming in to my house — this may not seem like a lot, but when some of them are substantial toys, it can be a fair amount of square footage). I like my friend Ruth’s edict to give kids “something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.” I may do some version of that. Henry and Eli have already made long, thoughtful lists. I’m looking forward to mining those for ideas.

My plan is to start making my list this week of what everyone’s getting (so I can also plan what to tell the grandparents what to get — in my family, they’d always rather have me tell them). Then buy the gifts and be done by the end of November, so I can enjoy making thousands of cookies in December.

One final note: Dave and I decided last year to (finally!) stop getting gifts for each other. We really don’t need anything. If we do, we buy it throughout the year. The elimination of spousal gifts was a huge relief for us. Just something to consider.


  1. Joanna

    LOVE the idea of SLOW HOLIDAYS. I am fully on board. I have the fortune to head over to Canada to celebrate Christmas with friends who buy into this philosophy too. For us it is all about thankfulness, food and friendship (and a few small present too). I too try and sneak some French wine into my suitcase too!

  2. Robyn

    Hurray for no spousal gifts! Rachel and I knocked that off some years back, and relief abounds. We spend what would have been private gift-giving time reviewing the year and making wishes for the next.

  3. Julie

    Joanna, travel and French wine sounds like the perfect holiday!

    And Robyn, I love the review and wish making. I’m going to add it!

  4. LoriO

    Sean and I eliminated all spousal gift giving, including Birthdays. It was the best present we could have given each other. Now I get him things all the time, but it’s not related to any special “event”, and on Christmas, we usually end up buying stuff we want when we’re buying other presents, and on Christmas Day, was say “look what you got me Honey!” And the other person will say “I’m so awesome!” Way, way, more fun.

  5. Nancy Fairweather

    We also do the Look what you bought me! IS very fun.
    I had a rule that before Christmas, children (and adults) must go through closets (their own! Ever had a kid try to clear YOUR closet?) and with two bags in hand, decide on garbage and donatables. No bags, no room for new prezzies! It makes room in the house, and those donatables get to the second hand shop in time for someone else to make them an affordable present for their family.

  6. Julie

    Yes, I know know know that I need to have a major clearing out pre-Christmas. In the past I’ve tried to sneak it in on my own, but I think this year I definitely need to get other people involved.

    Lori, we don’t do birthdays either for grownups. And no anniversaries except significant ones (we started off doing the traditional gift thing, and then we couldn’t stop and it was kind of fun…but now that we’re above 10 years the suggested gift material only comes every five years).


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