Overcoming That #ChristmasDebt

I procrastinated on buying Christmas presents… again. What can I say, being a student is expensive enough without taking into consideration all the gifts that you have to buy for Christmas.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about why I even celebrate Christmas and how it has changed as I’ve gotten older. Growing up in Scotland, I knew Christmas as the time of the year when everything I had ever wanted was waiting for me underneath the Christmas tree. As I grew into my teenage years, which I spent in Jamaica, Christmas became more about family and spending time with them. It was the one time of the year when all of my relatives came together for Christmas dinner, and you knew that the gym membership your mum bought you would finally come in handy. Now, after living in Vancouver for over a year and away from most of my family, new thoughts about Christmas have developed: one is about friends who have become like family; another is about thinking about those who are also separated from their families by borders and oceans, coming together to celebrate.

Unfortunately, the cost of having such friends has left me in a financial debt. Needing to buy gifts for everyone has left me feeling like a bit of a scrooge. So this year I have decided to stay within my means. I have thought long and hard about who I am able to give presents to, and have decided that each person will receive a homemade gift instead of something store-bought. For my partner, I have written a short book about mushy memories that we have shared, which includes all of my favourites quotes about love. For others, I have created hand-painted mugs, fancy goat’s milk soap, calendars with motivational quotes, and collections of hilarious memes that my friends and I have tagged each other in throughout the year. However, I think my very favourite is my seed paper cards! These are awesome, as they can be personalized for each individual. Once the person no longer wants the card, they can plant it and a surprise plant sprouts!

There are endless, affordable possibilities for holiday gift giving, as long as you put in the work. I guess this year, my gift for everyone is my time and effort. Unfortunately for them, these things don’t come with a gift receipt. No exchanges this year!

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