THE STORY OF WHY WE STOPPED GIVING TANGIBLE GIFTS ON CHRISTMAS
In 2015 as the gift shopping part of Christmas approached, I racked my brain trying to remember what I got Will for Christmas the year before…and what he gifted to me…neither one of us could recall. The only thing we could remember is that we spent a silly amount of money buying gifts for each other, his family, and my huge family (of 13) which has grown even larger in the last 2 years.
This caused us to have a little epiphany and question why in the world were we spending so much money on crap that we couldn’t even remember getting less than a year later? Maybe we would get more value by gifting experiences to each other, and the ones we love.
WE EXCHANGED OUR CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR A CHRISTMAS TRIP
That’s when we decided that instead of spending our money on gifts we would forget about in a few months we would spend our money on an incredible trip that we would never forget!
So, we booked a flight to Hawaii and packed our bags, and we will NEVER forget that trip. Thanks to our awesome friend Sam we got to experience Hawaii like a local and every second of it was surreal!
The next year we did the same thing, only we booked a flight to Lake Tahoe and packed bigger bags full of snow gear. We made snow angels, went sledding, snowboarding, drank hot chocolate and watched the snow fall. It was magical and we will never forget that trip either. My best friend Tessa spent a few days with us, and we had an incredible house to stay in thanks to Schaffer’s Mill.
This year on Black Friday we decided to opt outside instead of shop. We took a hike through a nature preserve in the St. Augustine area. During our adventurous hike through a lot of mud puddles we listed off different ideas on where we should spend Christmas … we finally settled on Belize!
GUESS WHAT? WE STILL LOVE CHRISTMAS!
We aren’t anti-Christmas. We still celebrate with our families before we leave. We just ask that no one buys us gifts, or expects gifts from us. Our parents still don’t really listen to that part, but the amount of gifts we recieve gets smaller each year! (yes, that actually makes us happy, lol) There is also an open invitation for anyone in our family or group of friends to join us on our trip.
I LOVE Christmas. I love beautifully decorated trees (real or made from pallets), baking Christmas cookies, watching cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies, drinking hot cocoa, covering the house in string lights, and I’ve been jamming out to Christmas music since before Thanksgiving.
One of the best parts about Christmas is celebrating holiday traditions. I guess you can say that a Christmas trip is our holiday tradition that we started together as a couple! Although this will only be our third year celebrating Christmas this way, I don’t really see us ever going back to our old way.
We’ve even added little bits of traditions with-in the tradition, such as taking ugly Christmas sweater photos with our fur babies before we leave, Will builds us a pallet tree that we decorate, we build a sand/snow man together wherever we spend Christmas, and we decided that each year we will alternate between hot and cold destination. Next year we are thinking Iceland…BRR!
Tangible gifts break, get lost, go out of style, or you just outgrow them…but you don’t outgrow reminiscing on once-in-a-lifetime adventures with the people that you love.. (Especially not if you document them properly!)
Christmas 2016, Lake Tahoe Video:
Christmas 2015, Hawaii Video:
This will be the first Christmas that we won’t have anyone else joining us on our trip. Neither of us have been to Belize before so if you have any suggestions please let us know! We can’t wait to share our Christmas adventure with you all.
We hope everyone has a Happy holiday season and no matter how you celebrate – remember that it’s not about the gifts you get, it’s about the quality time you spend with the people you love.