Save Money on Christmas Shopping This Year

The Minimalists is a blog I read regularly ( In fact I’ve subscribed to getting their new posts delivered to my email inbox every day (something I hope you all will do with I’ve posted another article by them previously: The Minimilists Blog: Interesting Inspiration. In their words, “Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus write essays about living a meaningful life with less stuff …” That’s The Minimalists credo, much like mine at HRA. I hope you’ll all check out what they’re doing because I think you’ll be drawn to what they have to say. But to make it easy for you, I’m re-publishing a recent post of theirs that I found thought-provoking at the very least. I hope you enjoy it as well.

Gift Love: Save $646 on Christmas Shopping This Year

By Joshua Fields Millburn

The average American will spend $646.00 this year on Christmas presents. Many of which presents people don’t want or need or even care to receive.

That’s why I’m opting out of the whole thing.

Sure, I’ll still go to holiday events and show my love in myriad ways, but not with material gifts.

We’ve been taught—conditioned—to believe that gift-giving is a way to show our love for one another, that gift-giving is one of our “love languages.” This idea is utterly ridiculous, and yet we treat it as gospel: I love you—see, here’s this expensive shiny thing I bought you.

Gift-giving is not a love language any more than Pig Latin is a Romance language. Rather, material gift-giving is a pernicious cultural imperative, and we’ve bought it (literally bought it) hook, line, and sinker. We’ve become consumers of love.

The grotesque idea that we can somehow purchase love is nauseating. We often give gifts to show our love because we are troubled by real love. Gift-giving is, by definition, transactional. But love is not a transaction. Love is transcendent—it transcends language and material possessions and can be shown only by our thoughts, actions, and intentions.

So, I’ll gift experiences this year. I’ll gift my time. But I’ll save six-hundred bucks in the process, and I’ll feel a lot better about how I show my love. Care to join me? Together, we can make it a more meaningful holiday season.

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