why I give gifts, part 2.

More about my still-evolving policy of giving gifts at Christmas.

It's not about the money.

I'm very careful about how much money I spend at Christmas. I've never gone overboard, and have even scaled back more this year. I count myself fortunate that for all of the people on my gift list, the "perfect" gift (and I admit, that I even put way too much pressure on myself to find it) isn't about the amount of money I spend, but how appropriate the gift itself is. In fact, usually the gifts I'm most excited about, are the least expensive ones of all.

I'm very picky about the gifts I give to the children in my life.

I want to be careful not to be judgemental here, not in the least because I don't have kids of my own. But it's very important to me to choose gifts that encourage play and imagination (which means that I don't give video games, ever). I also like to give things that encourage interaction - games that are played with other people (another reason I don't give video games).

I also know that for most kids who receive gifts from me, they're getting lots of gifts from lots of other people at the same time. So I decided a couple years ago that it made to sense to try to give the best gift, the one that will wow them. That's just setting myself up for disappointment.

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