Thursday, November 13, 2008

What a great idea!

Family Christmas Exchange

In the past few years, our extended family has perfected a
fun, eco-friendly gift exchange at Christmas. Throughout the
year, we make a list (or pile) of items that are good and
usable. These are items that we know someone may enjoy but we
just aren't using, such as kitchen items, gardening tools,
cloths, books, CDs, movies, etc. We also include homemade
items like scarves, jams, new plants, cookies, etc.

On Christmas day, everyone brings all of the items wrapped in
reused or hand drawn wrapping. We count the number of gifts
total and divide it by the number of people present. We agree
on the number of "stealings" and rules of the exchange (i.e.
everyone gets five gifts and can steal a total of 5 times). At
the end, one person is responsible for bringing non-loved
items to the thrift shop for a new owner.

This exchange reuses items, clears out some of our clutter,
reduces our need to buy new and reduces the Christmas price
tag, which before this tradition was ridiculously too high.
Best of all, it is very fun, especially when we win Grandma's
jam.