My kids have all left the nest & are flying on their own......there is very little that I can buy them that will put giggly smiles on their faces.....
My friends are all my age & already have most things that they need.....in fact, my friends & I are in the Lighten the Load stage of life!
There are 5 solutions to apply:
1) Stop exchanging gifts.
2) Be more & more creative!
3) Buy only a few small things.
4) Give carefully selected gift cards.
5) Give money.......# 1 is not an option for me....giving is my greatest joy in life & Christmas is my favorite time to share........& a tree is not a tree at my house until it has a few gaily wrapped gifts underneath the boughs for the ones I love.
A combination of #s 2, 3, 4 & 5 work for me... giving money is sometimes appropriate if presented in unique ways, & a gift card to someone's favorite haunt can be a nice when placed inside something special...for instance: under the wrapper of a giant chocolate bar, tucked in the pocket of an apron, slipped in a menu from the restaurant, taped in a pizza box, added to the layers of a fabric sandwich, etc.....you get my drift. I shop, but I do it all year like an eagle, swooping down on bargains, sales & clearances, stretching my money like a rubber band!
....but, #2 is my very favorite approach!!! There are quidelines here, though.......make it useful & or fun, flat & or small, consumable or edible & make it for each receiver's personality......for instance, Grandpa fishes, Mama sews, Brother golfs, Frank watches TV & Cindy is only 3....lol !
This year, I am going to remind my readers periodically to be making gifts, gathering gifts & planning ahead for Christmas 2009. You can expect to see things I have made, ideas, tutorials & patterns, MAKING this Christmas the most loving of all!
What's that you say? Oh, you don't have friends & family to make for....well start looking for lonely neighbors, children's charities, hospitals, etc. that will welcome your efforts.