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I hope that you can relax that you experience love, laughter, and lots and lots of smiling this holiday season. “I just like smiling! Smiling is my favorite” - Buddy the Elf.

Life is different, and sometimes a bit daunting. Give yourself grace when needed, and spread joy and love when you can. In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

I love the conversations and trends of expressing gratitude and the importance of spending less money on gifts. I want to encourage you to consider experience-based gifts and setting parameters on your spending and gift quantities. If you are done with your shopping, I hope these ideas will guide future gift-giving.

Is an experience-based gift a good option at this time? Yes! Things will open up again, and experiences create positive memories that stuff and the addition of clutter will not. Buying with purpose and creativity makes the gifts more personal.

Ideas for experienced-based gifts:

- Membership to a museum, zoo, National Parks

- Concert tickets

- A weekend getaway

- Spa day

- Take a tour of a local attraction

- Movie night

- Epic game night (my favorite)

- Lessons – guitar, singing, karate, swimming, pottery, coding, horseback riding

- Monthly subscription box – a bit of experience combined with a bit of stuff– the options are endless, for example, dessert, clothing, beauty, cats, dogs, tea the options are endless. Our youngest son loved getting a Lootcrate, which includes Pop Culture, Gaming, Film and TV, and Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

A four gift outline, and I love it. Limit the number of gifts you give with these four rules.

Something they want.

Something they need.

Something they wear.

Something they read.

Setting spending boundaries with a twist that can be fun for the kids. Well, you definitely need a spending limit for all purchases, but this concept is specific to gift buying within your household.

This is a system my mother started when I was a kid, and my husband and I continued with our children for many years. The best way to explain this is to lay out an example.

In our immediate family, we have 5 members. Based on a $200 budget per person, the gift amounts are broken into price points $20, $40, $60, and $80. Each family member receives 4 gifts, one from each family member, and each price point.

Choose the price point that works for your family and then set the individual amounts based on family member' numbers. My favorite part of this system was watching our sons meet the challenge of finding a gift at the designated price point for the person it was assigned to.

Happy gift giving!

Organizing and smiling,




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