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Changing Your Christmas Tradition

By Chris Kullstroem

It may be the most wonderful time of the year for many of us, but not for everyone. If there's one thing that some people don't particularly like about the Christmas season, it's the pressure that they have to buy a gift for just about everyone they know. What kind of gift do they want? How much am I expected to spend? How will I be able to afford all this?

But Christmas doesn't have to be all about buying gifts. It didn't start out that way, and remember that, like anything, holidays are what you make them. If buying gifts is a factor that actually takes fun away from your holidays rather than adding to it, you may want to change your Christmas tradition into one that suits your style a little better.

Rather than buying gifts this year, think about throwing a big holiday party for your friends and family. Don't worry about buying oodles of food - make it a potluck party. Ask each person coming to bring only one gift, wrapped in blue wrapping paper if it's something a man would prefer, green for a woman, and white for a child. As each person arrives as the party, they can put their gift under the tree and get a number from a fishbowl as to who gets to pick out their gifts first.

If you still like the idea of getting a little something for each of your friends and family, consider making "tickets" to your party to put in with the invitations that you send out. Make the tickets out of green, red or white construction paper, using Christmas stickers, glitter, ribbons, or whatever you like. Now each person attending the party has a special souvenir to keep.

Or, if you like the idea of having a get-together with friends but you're not so keen on it being at your house, check to see what Christmastime events are being held in your area, such as a play, symphony, Christmas tour, etc., and invite your friends to the event for a Friday or Saturday night. You can also make specially-themed tickets or invitations for the event.

Changing your Christmas tradition from buying many gifts to holding a special gathering can put a different twist on your Christmas that you may want to reconnect with. After all, getting together with friends and family is what makes Christmas so special, and you want to keep your holidays special so that they truly are the most wonderful time of the year.