This year is expected to be a lean one for retailers, but that does not mean the spirit of Christmas is not alive and well with the 54 plus thousand people here in Milford. Bargain shoppers are out there, and some people I have talked to this holiday season has brought back the "gift closet."
The "Gift Closet" is that special place where you accumulate those gifts that did not fit you, were not your style, or was such a summer bargain that you could not say no. This is one of the most novel ways to have something to give without actually going deep into debt.
Kids on the other hand, are a more creative and each year never do I expect anything over the top from my kids, but none-the-less that feeling of giving is an important one and Mom's and Dads can help them feel special this holiday by doing creative things.
One of my kids favorites is having them spend their allowance at the dollar store and purchase some extra large frames, we then go through some old photos of the family and our most memorable times and make a montage of memories. Writing a letter and then gluing it to the back of the picture will make it all that more meaningful in the years to come, especially when years go by and the person who received it has that extra bit of information to remind them where it came from.
However, some families are not at all that easy to please, so one thing that my step-daughter likes to do is go to the Christmas Tree Shoppe here in town and buy some very inexpensive cookie tins, and then fill them with home made baked cookies that she generously shares with all her friends and family. These are also accompanied by a small holiday greeting card with a message of holiday cheer.
For all those other folks out there that still like to give gifts, I found lots of those bargain items sold on T.V. can be interesting items to give, especially if I know someone who has commented on something they saw. It is also a great way to avoid the holiday rush and have items delivered to your doorstep.
These are most of the secrets that my family and I utilize each holiday season to keep in spirit with the gift giving tradition and also avoid placing that undue stress that a personal sense of obligation can bring. The holidays are a time of unity and togetherness and I would sincerely hope that people take a conservative approach to remove the undue hardship of protracted credit card payments and future indebtedness.