Well, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed and my inbox is finally resembling its normal flow of spam. For the first time since kids descended in my life, I opted for no shopping. Even online. Completely out of character for me but after several monetary set-backs we just decided to avoid the adrenaline rush that those shopping excursions produce and our resultant overspending.
As I have briefly mentioned before, we are starting a new gift tradition for our family. We wanted to not only tone down the “stuff” that comes with Christmas but also provide a visible outlet of the money we saved towards a gift for someone in need. We wanted something our kids could get excited about giving to someone they don’t know. There are tons of avenues for such gifts, donations, charities etc out there. But we decided on World Vision for a few reasons. They have a ton of options for a huge range of prices. They send a catalog. Sure, it’s simple enough, but my kids can all flip through the pages and decide what to give. This involves them in a way that they can see. I could just donate but this makes a greater impact on my kids. But for my daughter, who’s old enough to read what each animal or gift could provide, she begins to own herself that saying no to an extra 10$ gift for herself can buy a family in need 2 ducks. And she’s thrilled to take the money she has saved all year and buy them herself.
So perhaps if you have saved big on the gifts on your Christmas list from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you might take a few minutes to see what just a few dollars could bring to someone. It might make more of an impact than you think.