It’s hard not to get caught up in the holiday gift buying hysteria. Although I don’t get many catalogs anymore (thanks partly to Catalog Choice), the ones I received right before Thanksgiving were marked “Late Holiday”. Seriously?
I (perhaps unwisely) stubbornly refuse to think about shopping until after Thanksgiving. And although I had no intention of participating in any Black Friday sales, I couldn’t resist at least thumbing through the advertisements that came in the Austin newspaper, where inserts outnumbered news probably 3 to 1.
Although this is the first year I think my son will really pay attention to the presents he opens, I want to be careful about the number of “things” we accumulate. My husband and I have always been mindful of the gifts we give him and ask our families to respect this desire, not only because we want to lessen our impact on the Earth, but also because we want him to value experiences over material goods. If you would like to do the same, or encourage your families to give different kinds of gifts, here are some ideas:
- A family membership to the Austin Children’s Museum is $10 off until the end of the year (including renewals). It’s a great place to go as a family, take out of town guests or take along friends (the Basic Membership allows 4 visitors). It’s worth it financially if you can make it once a month and gives you an excuse to go explore downtown and get out of the house.
- Speaking of downtown, take a carriage ride to spend a fun night together taking in the holiday decorations (or any time of year).
- The UT men’s and women’s basketball teams play at the Erwin Center and getting tickets to a game on a weekend is a fun family excursion (and it doesn’t matter if you are in the nosebleed section).
- Asking relatives to help pay for a class (we love Sportball, or you could try art or dance lessons). Some of these are drop off, but you can also find some that are Mommy and Me if you’d prefer to participate.
- Planning a family getaway — either something major, like Disney, or something simple, like camping at a state park.
- Buy tickets to a performance, be it The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, Holiday Heroes or even a movie at the IMAX.
What other ideas might I be forgetting?
There are so many fun events coming up, so be sure to check out the Weekenders to experience the holidays as a family. You can also check out my Taming Holiday Treats post for ideas on reducing your family’s sugar intake this holiday season. Happy shopping!
Written by: Nicole Basham