The Most Fun Way to Downplay Gift-Giving

This week I had fun writing an article for Slow Family Online about holiday traditions and their power to take the pressure off presents:  Downplay Gift-Giving and Bring up Ritual, Meaning and Fun.

Ever heard of the Slow Movement?  Slow Food “was founded in 1989 to counter the rise of fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.”

Slow Parenting is about turning back the pace of modern life as it applies to raising children.

Founder of Slow Family Online and Social Media Director for Children and Nature, Suz Lipman explains that Slow Parenting is about:

  • allowing free play
  • using resources wisely to help the planet and ourselves
  • getting better in touch with our food, lives and health
  • reclaiming lost tactile arts, and
  • forming healthy communities and loving families

I feel naturally drawn to the Slow Movement.  Our tight budget has been a catalyst, forcing me to slow down, to make things by hand, to take advantage of playgrounds and nature, and to try to ignore the hype of our commerce-driven world.

You can read more about slow parenting at Wikipedia, or by subscribing to Slow Family Online.

I hope you enjoy the article about how to up-play holiday traditions — I consulted an author and friend who often writes about ritual — and I think you’ll find lots of helpful tidbits and ideas.

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  • Duckie December 13, 2010, 10:42 pm

    Which IDEA? Gifting what you would like to receive yourself… Really only works with a long-term spouse? and perhaps your older (than 35) children? But you can start it on a small scale at any point in your gifting relationship…

    p.s. I love your site!

  • Dagmar Bleasdale December 13, 2010, 1:58 am

    Amy, I love this: “Our tight budget has been a catalyst, forcing me to slow down, to make things by hand, to take advantage of playgrounds and nature, and to try to ignore the hype of our commerce-driven world.”

    I feel the same way and find that I want things to slow down, especially during the holidays. I need to look into this Slow Parenting some more, thanks!

    My best,
    Dagmar’s momsense

    • Amy December 13, 2010, 12:03 pm

      What a nice comment, Dagmar!

      I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.

      I too need things to slow down — especially now when they get even quicker.


  • Michelle December 11, 2010, 12:38 am

    I have a great book recommendation: Joy to the World: Advent Activities for Your Family. Admittedly, it’s a book written from the Catholic perspective, but it has some wonderful ideas for making the weeks leading up to Christmas less about commercialism and more about giving and reflection that should translate into any faith. And, the activites are loads of fun for kids!

    For instance, they tell you how to create a Good Deeds Manger filled with remembrances of thoughtful or giving experiences during Advent. And, instead of candy Advent calendars, they focus on creating a countdown with activities of service, spiritual growth, and “homebody” experiences.

    • Amy December 12, 2010, 8:53 pm

      Love this, Michelle! Thanks for the recommendation. I’m curious about the “homebody” experiences.

      Thanks for writing in!

      Take care,

  • Amy December 10, 2010, 8:45 pm

    Hi Ghi — I’m so glad you get what I’m talking about! I think you would be great as your family’s creator of ritual and tradition.

    Meagan — I am so guilty of always trying to do more. The internet is a constant lure that I have to consciously shut down and ignore. That’s why I know a smart phone is not for me!

    I was hoping you would see this post, since you are dedicating the whole month on your blog to ritual, routine and rhythm. I hope people check it out — great stuff there as usual:

    Thanks both of you for writing in!


  • Meagan @ The Happiest Mom December 10, 2010, 3:52 pm

    Love this! I too am drawn to the slow movement–I think it’s a natural antidote to the push to do more, more, more in less, less, less time :)

  • Ghi December 10, 2010, 3:48 pm

    Love this post ~ =) I’ve read a bit about the movement and have tried to incorporate some of it into our lives. Now that we’re done moving around maybe we’ll be able to embrace it even more! hugs ~

  • suz @slowfamily December 10, 2010, 12:16 pm

    Hi Amy! Thanks again for writing a beautiful guest post for Slow Family that’s full of warm inspiration and ideas. The simplest traditions can add a great deal of texture and meaning to family life.

    I also appreciate you sharing so much about the slow movement and my blog. Slow and Frugal are definitely partners! I hope your holiday season contains many blessings and that we continue to stay in touch.