Last year I brought up to my brother and sister-in-law that we don’t want to do a regular gift exchange anymore. It’s not that I dislike gifting (though to be honest I kind of do sometimes). But for Christmas gifts and birthday gifts it just didn’t make sense to buy ‘stuff’ we didn’t really need.
We’d talked about doing some alternative options – things like donating to a charity, or an experience.
This year, though, my sister-in-law had an excellent idea that we’ll be trying out.
The Gift Exchange
Instead of doing traditional gifts, we are exchanging books and recipes. All of us in my family do well enough for ourselves that anything we want, we can buy ourselves. We also tend to have an affliction of loving instant gratification in those cases.
Don’t get me wrong – our purchases are well thought out – but when we find something we like, it generally isn’t an issue for us to get it should we so choose.
Doing an exchange of books and recipes will be a pretty fun experiment. For starters, I get to think about all of the nerdy finance books that I want my family to read.
As a foody, I also get to share some of my favorite recipes – and try out new ones.
Why It’s Better Than Regular Gifts
This gift exchange idea is brilliant – way better than regular gifts.
- It’s free – just using what you’ve got around at home.
- You can share some of your personality – and cater really effectively to the personality of the recipient.
- Nobody’s upset if you don’t like it. If you get a recipe that just doesn’t do it for you, who cares?
- It lets us explore other things. Reading is Kristin’s favorite thing to do, and I love reading and cooking.
We’re really excited to see what this year’s exchange has in store.
Other Gift Exchange Ideas
Honestly it’s probably a bit late, but if you’re looking for some other ‘exchange’ type ideas here are a few that should be pretty easy.
- Video games (for the nerds out there)
- Board games (if you’re looking for a cooperative board game, I love Pandemic)
The holiday time doesn’t need to be expensive. In lieu of store-bought gifts, an exchange can be a great alternative that still keeps the spirit of giving alive.
My favorite part of it is spending time with friends and family. There are no better gifts than that.
What is your gifting tradition during holidays and/or birthdays?.