Repost: Revolution Gift Ideas | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

December 20, 2011

Repost: Revolution Gift Ideas

I wrote this post 2 years ago, when I was just a beginner blogger, but I still stand by the idea that the Holidays should not put us in debt or stress us out as we try to figure out what we should get this person or that.  We get so caught up in the chaos of the Holidays, that we don't stop to celebrate the beauty of love, joy and reaching out to our fellow man.

Our gifts do not need to be a monetary value on a list or a way to outdo last year's present.  Our gifts can be a blessing to others - and this can be done with little to no money at all (but the value is priceless).  Here is the intro post, as well as links to the 10 or so gifts I shared.

I hope you find some ideas. But more so, I hope you are inspired.

Happy Holidays!


PS - If you have any ideas to share, please leave a comment!

PPS - More gift and recipe ideas are being shared on the Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom Facebook page. Look on the wall for the notes "Holiday Recipe Swap" and "Holiday Gift Ideas."

Warning: This post may offend you. Or it may bore you. Please know that this post means a lot to me, and involves a lot of emotion and passion as I share my heart with you. You may find that this post isn't up your ally, and that is completely okay by me! Some may be challenged by the content of this post, and to you I say, "Are you with me?"

Last year, I was REALLY transformed by the challenge set forth by Advent Conspiracy. I encourage you, as the Holiday season is beginning to creep up on us, to check out this website and watch the promo video. I don't want to ruin the effect of the website, so I won't lay out their agenda, but I will start by saying this idea really struck home with me: We have really lost the root of WHY we have holidays and the MEANING behind them. Somehow, we (especially as Americans) have really thrown traditional "meaning" to the wayside, and replaced the "true" meaning of the upcoming holidays (and I am including Halloween, Thanksgiving and the December Holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah, etc in this category) with COMMERCIALISM. We've created an empire of money, gifts and credit card bills in the name of Celebration and Worship.

I've been really challenged to re-examine my motives for Holidays and what I REALLY want those times to be about. This is the conclusion I've personally come to:

Family, Friends, Community,
Celebration,Togetherness, Stories,
Laughing, Food, Worship

Everyone's list may vary, but those are the ideals I have come up with. Notice that I haven't added, "running up my credit card bills and closing in on bankruptcy because I am attempting to buy everyone (and their Mothers. And their Mother's Mother. And their Mother's Mother's Neighbor) the PERFECT gift. Scratch that. Gifts. More Gifts. Lots of Gifts."

I do not want the Perfect Gift (or the quantity of gifts I give) to signify my love for people. Do not get me wrong: I DO think giving gifts can be apart of love, celebration and togetherness. I think giving someone something thoughtful can be ONE way to show them I care. But when an expectation, obligation or judgement arises over such things, it ceases to be a symbol of love. It becomes an idol of Commercialism and Selfishness. (Sorry, that may be harsh, but it's true).

As I've spent time thinking through these ideas, I've come to embrace the idea of alternative and homemade gift giving. Now let me qualify this by saying I DO buy gifts. Sometimes the best way to show someone I love them is by giving them something they could not otherwise give themselves. But I do not just default to buying gifts. I've realized how, for so long, I just stocked up on "impressive" gifts because...I needed to give gifts. As I re-examined over the past year, I had 2 realizations:

1) My gift giving had become IMPERSONAL.

2)I wasted a lot of MONEY on impersonal, meaningless gifts.

So, analyzing the above 2 realizations, I concluded 2 more things:

1) I can give THOUGHTFUL and PERSONAL gifts to those I love.

2) I can be mindful that MONEY does not give a gift worth, and that I can put the money I would otherwise be spending on gifts toward a better cause.

While I am grateful for the change in mind (and heart), I only regret having come across these ideas too late to impact my last Holiday season. That said, I want to really make this Holiday Season count.

So, I will be posting different thoughts on celebrating holidays and ideas for personal, unique, alternative and handmade/homemade gifts on this blog. Starting NEXT WEEK, I will share a post EVERY WEDNESDAY until the end of December. I have a bunch of ideas running through my head: ways to save money (and in turn, enabling you to have money to give to a good cause), rethinking traditional gifts, crafts for kids to make and give as gifts, new ways to celebrate all the upcoming holidays, ways to encourage others and TONS of project ideas!

Friends, I am embarking on an adventure: Rethinking Holidays, and all that comes with it. I am vowing to celebrate and love DIFFERENTLY this Holiday season.

Are you with me?

If you are at all moved, encouraged or challenged to do the same, then I invite you to join me on this journey. I welcome you to share your thoughts, struggles, ideas and creativity on this blog. START NOW: leave a comment signifying that you will be joining me on this adventure, and share how YOU want to change your heart (and holiday and gift-giving perspective) as well!


I am inspired all over again!  As a parent of 2, I can't tell you how much it would mean to me for someone to give me the gift of time with Hubby. "Every Tuesday for the next 3 months, I'm coming over and watching your kids from 5pm-8pm. Go have fun." Or someone willing to do my gardens for me in the Spring.  It makes me tear up!  Those No-Sew Fleece Blankets are super warm and cozy, and one of my most prized possessions is the handmade cookbook Hubby's grandmother made for me more than 5 years ago.

Be inspired. Inspire others.

Happy holidays, friends.


  1. Love it, Steph! Can't wait to read your hardwork.

    I don't need to rehash my inlaw's story here, though I really wish they would get that giving big money gifts doesn't equal true generosity, especially when they owe money to other people.

    I can't wait to share the post with my frugal sil.

  2. Oh I love your sincere video about spending less money and giving more quality time to people. Last year we invited my mom's friends over from the retirement home as they had no family to visit over Christmas, we had them over for Christmas lunch and bought them a c little Tracfone SVC phone with minutes on so that they could phone their families. They were so happy and my family felt just as happy doing some good for some lonely souls. I don't like a lavish Christmas because I always think of the poor and needy who don't get to eat great food and who are living in the streets. Seniors just want time with someone who can listen to them and smile and chat to them. I want my kids to give of themselves over Christmas time.

  3. What a fabulous post. We ran into our first "issue" with Christmas and Santa this year - Cbear thinks that EVERYTHING he writes on his list Santa will bring. While I don't want to disappoint the 3 year old with the three items I know he really wants, I certainly do not want him to believe everything he asks for just appears for him.

    I also took him with me when I donated a few items for Toys for Tots. He really paid no attention, but I figure if donating is routine it will hopefully be something he continues.

    I must try some of your suggestions, not just for the holidays but for gifts year round!


  4. wow, I totally agree, this is very inspiring thank you

  5. These are really creative! I am looking for employee recognition ideas and you just gave me some great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Sound like fabulous ideas - I like stopping and thinking about what you really want from your holiday celebration.

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Hey! Share a thought or two - I'd love to hear from you! ~ Steph

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