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Maybe it’s time to look at gift giving in a different way and create some Christmas traditions that really matter.

Before you start calling me the Grinch and thinking I’m all “bah-humbug!” I have to tell you, I LOVE Christmas!

But increasingly it’s becoming a time of excess and overwhelm.

And there’s a lot of pressure. 

Pressure to find the right gifts.  The biggest. The newest model. The most expensive. The old keeping up with the Joneses (and their kids, who are apparently all getting new smartphones under the tree this year).

It can put unfair expectations on parents, especially those whose finances are already stretched. Did you know Australians racked up $25 billion in Christmas spending in 2018, with each person forking out a whopping $1325 on Christmas gifts for their family and friends!

Here are a few facts about Aussie’s Christmas waste:

  • We receive more than 20 million unwanted gifts at Christmastime
  • We use more than 150,000 km of wrapping paper – enough to wrap around the globe 4 times
  • 86% of Aussies find Christmas puts a strain on their finances, with buying gifts reported as the major cause of this pressure

Creating Christmas traditions your own way

I bet if you think about the Christmases from your childhood, you won’t recall the presents you received, but instead it’ll be the memories that come to mind. 

Sure, there might be a few special gifts you’ll never forget – your first bike, or the Cabbage Patch Doll you were desperate for Santa to bring.

But what are your best memories? Is it playing with your cousins at Christmas lunch, filling a huge bowl with Nana’s trifle you only got to eat once a year, or the game of backyard cricket that carried on from the year before?

Whether your family is small or large, there are plenty of ways you can create your own Christmas traditions in line with your values. Maybe you always go to church as a family on Christmas Day and say a special prayer before your meal. Perhaps you pack up and go camping, getting back to nature and away from the crowds.

You might take a minute during your Christmas dinner to talk about the things you’re most grateful for, or maybe you have a special Christmas movie you watch every year. Are you a Love Actually, Home Alone or Miracle on 34th Street kinda gal?

A couple of other fun, low-cost ideas for family Christmas traditions:

  • Donate a gift or food hamper items to a local charity who will pass them onto those doing it tough this Christmas
  • Decorate a gingerbread house or bake Christmas cookies
  • Go to your local Carols by Candlelight
  • Drive around your neighbourhood looking at Christmas lights
  • Read the Christmas story or a favourite Christmas book
  • Create a holiday playlist with your favourite Christmas songs (hello, Michael Buble!)

Over to you! What’s a Christmas tradition you stick to? Hit comment and let me know back, I would love to hear from you.

Blessings, Hiddyx