The Art of Giving

What comes to mind when you hear the word generosity? Do you think of a specific person? Do you get excited? Cringe? Explode with joy on the inside?

When I think of the word generosity I get excited. Living a generous life is deep within me! My Papa, my mom's father has set a beautiful example for my entire family on living a generous life. He has once said he just can't seem to give fast enough and it just keep coming. The more he gives the more he has to give.

Call me crazy but I have been thinking about Christmas. I seriously don't know what's gotten into me other than I think I'm craving some sort of normalcy. In some ways looking back on the past few years I may be in some sort of shock! So much goodness overflowing at one time and on top of that two moves both with the intention of forming and building a brand new community, my dog was put to sleep, my oldest enrolled in a brand new school the day before it started. I live here? In WA? I'm not even sure when that happened. Our house sold? Also not quite sure how all that happened. I have honestly been taking everything day-to-day, soaking in each moment and all that it has in store!

With Christmas in a new state and all Fall birthdays for my kids I got excited to enjoy giving to them this year. In particular, choosing things that I know would really bless them. I wanted to be a great gift-giver but do so on a budget.

A friend recently shared with me a few things she thinks about for the whole year. I wrote down every word from our text exchange! It's good to have a budget! And that way when occasions arise you can still stick with your year long financial goals. I found my gift-giving total for the whole year was quite high when I added each individual occasion together and what I would ideally spend!

Kid's Birthdays. Set an amount. Decide what you want to spend. What my friend does is she chooses one thing she knows her kids will LOVE. And one need, whether it be clothes or shoes.

Kid's Christmas. Set an amount for presents and stockings. Choose one thing you know your kids NEED, like socks or underwear and a few things you know they will want. Simple and easy!

Nieces and nephews. Small toy or book. Keep it simple. 

Kid's Friend's birthdays. Set an amount per party/occasion and stick to it. Enjoy the art of giving! A small book or toy works great.

Anniversary. Give only cards. And set some money aside for an outing or getaway. I noticed that my friend seems to go away and enjoy time with her husband every year on her anniversary! It inspires me! How fun. When I asked her, she mentioned they give only cards to each other. I also love this because it sets a precident that there SHOULD be cards! Hello?! Sweet words are the best.

Christmas to each other. Decide if you're going to give gifts to your spouse or not, and maybe it's a not. That's ok! 

Relatives. Families can do a name draw and then perhaps each spouse would be getting one member of the extended family a gift. On top of that still getting moms and dads some kind of joint gift or individual gift. 

Relatives out of state. Consider whether or not this will happen. Sometimes it's nice to be person to person.

Mother's Day. Cards

Father's Day. Cards

Easter Baskets. Few small eggs with candy and maybe a few small things.

Christmas stockings to each other. I thought it was sweet that even though my friend and her husband don't exchange gifts, they still make a stocking for each other. Cute!

This friend is someone who always seems to show up with a little something. When I had a baby she brought a little baby toy, when we moved into our home I'm pretty sure she brought something when she came over! So thoughtful! She was surprised to hear I think of her when I think of a great gift-giver but I do! It just goes to show that setting up an idea and some kind of overall plan actually does work to allowing the freedom to give for every occasion and choosing to say no at certain times as well and that being ok! Gift giving is supposed to be fun!

Give cheerfully friends!