My sister and I want to do a gift-free Christmas. What rules should we set? And how do we break the news to our mom? She's big on bargain hunting and spoiling us, so we're sure she's not going to take this well.
My spouse and I are doing well, but my sister and her husband are really struggling financially. We talked a few weeks ago and I mentioned the idea of having an "Imagination Christmas
" and she was really enthusiastic. I think she was really dreading a Christmas where she would be unable to afford the type of gift my family usually gives to one another. Luckily, neither of us have kids yet.
My mom definitely loves Christmas shopping and there is a good chance that she already has a hallway closet stuffed full of gifts for us. How do we tell her that we want to keep Christmas simple? It is likely that she'll be upset that we don't want the gifts she picked out for us.
What's more, my sister will have to deal with this on her own once Thanksgiving is over. I live in another state and I'll be spending Christmas with my in-laws. Sis is not looking forward to a lonely, one-sided Christmas with my parents.
I would love to do a handmade Christmas, but while my mother and I share a gene for making handmade goods, my sister never got beyond hand turkeys. In addition, she has school, two jobs and no time for herself, let alone knitting or wood-working. I would be happy with a card, but I don't want to unintentionally show up my sister or make her feel bad. I love her and this has been a stressful year for her.
So, first, we need to set some ground rules (Is charitable giving okay? Can we give small gifts? Handmade?). We would love to hear any advice or experiences you have with this.
Next, we need to get Mom on board. My dad abdicates to her on all matters Christmas related, so her participation will make or break the occasion. She might be on board with donating gifts to charity, but it will need to be her idea. Any advice on how to bring this up or keep her happy would be appreciated. We'll just have Thanksgiving break to get this right, so I hope it all goes well.