Don't feel bad for us. I planned this intentionally.
I wanted to address the wastefulness of the commercialized season and the clutter it brings to our lives.
In younger years when my children received or exchanged a few Christmas gifts, we would not always use wrapping paper. We put them in the reusable gift bags that you can buy at any dollar store along with sheets of reusable tissue paper. Some of these came from family and friends in previous years.
This year is a different one because I did not get pricey gifts for them. First of all, as a single parent, I cannot afford it. Second, I don't like venturing into crowded malls (or places period). I didn't even venture online to spend plastic.
I'm sure the words "Grinch" or "Scrooge" bounced around in their heads when I informed them weeks ago that we would not be getting presents this year. Instead, we would be redirecting funds to the young parents of a new member of our extended family as well as a few of our chosen charities. They seemed receptive to the idea, especially now that they are no longer "children". They seemed to accept and embrace the warm feeling of giving.
My growing children will still receive stocking stuffers of the chocolate kind and a bit of pocket money. They will also be able to share in a few feasts and celebrations with more family. Unfortunately, the older ones will have to work on boxing day as they are servants to retail, helping shoppers find bargains that fit or ... return unwanted gifts.