Please, no presents for me this christmas

This is something that started out written wise for another family from someone else, I edited and added onto it and personalized it as well, hoping my family adopts it as theirs did with the original message to the family: I take no credit for it outside of some personalizations, but felt compelled to post it here, especially this day since we have so many family gatherings happening right now! I’m leaving my data in tact, unedited because this is a real message being sent to mine, so will keep you guys updated on how it goes over, I have a good feeling, will be reporting lot’s of good news on it!



Hi All,

I have been thinking about this for some years along how commercially driven our family celebrates Christmas.

And this is to ask you to please, do not buy any gifts for me this Christmas. I will not be buying one for you as well.

For a long time now, the commercialism that has permeated the celebration of Christmas has really quite sickened me.

We give a little thought to Christ in the manger, but an inordinate amount of time is spent on a mad frenzy of buying. Most of the time, the presents we buy are not even really appreciated. It is destined to sit in the cupboard or languish in some storeroom, unused until we can find the courage to toss it or carry it to the Goodwill. Or give it to someone else. Or we buy something, anything, just so we can say we have given someone something for Christmas.

They say Christmas is for children (hence we buy them lots of toys and gadgets and what not) but all we are doing is inculcating materialism in them. I am sure it will do kids a lot of good to have less stuff this Christmas and tell them what it really is about, Christs birth and spend more one on one quality time with them instead.

We sometimes forget that Christmas is to commemorate that momentous event of God entering human history; of God pitching His tent among us. It is for me such an earth shattering event that for it to be eclipsed by this heady commercialism is really quite sad.

This might not sit well with some of you (you might even think me rather sanctimonious) but I believe greatly in this so I thought I’d better do it.

If you really feel you need to buy me a present then donate it to the Church if you want, here is their URL:, they have a donation spot for them and St. Vincent De Paul at their web site or any other charity that helps the homeless. You can donate an equivalent amount if you so wish and it does not have to be in my name and you do not even have to tell me about it. If you do it in your name, you will even get a tax deduction for it so it’s a win-win situation.

And No, you cannot give me the money and tell me to do the donation myself.

I will simply return the money to you.

This goes without saying that I will be doing the same to the best of my ability as to what my finances will allow. We are so blessed materially when it comes down to it if you look at all of society and it is about time there is a little less ringing in the till here and a bit more ringing of the dinner bell for those less fortunate then ourselves.

Honestly, there is nothing material I need and want for Christmas (of course there’s World Peace, End to World Hunger, etc). And I am sure a lot of us are NOT in NEED of anything material this Christmas either. There also has been too many years where it’s been hard enough for me to just put food on the table especially this time of year, much less being able to afford Christmas presents on top of it and I think we all can relate to that at some time in our lives. Right now I just cannot afford to participate in the traditional Millar Christmas and even if I could, I still prefer what I’m requesting and proposing this year.

Let us all go against the grain.

If we really must (must we, really?) open a present for Christmas, let us do a Kris Kringle instead. All those that want to participate will be in it and we can even make a wish list so that for a change we get something that we actually want. I was thinking a limit of $50.00 or even less if you like. And that will be all the gift we will exchange among ourselves this Christmas.

If we really, really want to go against the grain and do even better, let’s exchange the letters/cards we received as to what we donated to what ever charity instead of a gift itself, they usually do those kind of things, even if it’s just printing an email confirmation, it’s just as good! So our wish lists would ask for a donation to their charity, and someone else would donate it for them instead.

This means however that we will have to draw a name before Christmas.

Much love, Brian


For years, I have instructed family to send a donation to a local charity instead of giving me presents that I either don’t want or need. Christmas is supposed to be about the birth of the Savior. This is not done to show what a wonderful person I am… cause I am not. This is done to send a message and put Christmas into perspective. It should be a time of prayer.

Now, when MY birthday rolls around I highly encourage these same family members to stop by their local tobacco shop and pick up a box of fine cigars along with a bottle of good Kentucky bourbon!

my brothers and sisters and I agreed years ago, after my mom died, to donate to the charity she supported and to whom she left a generous gift, rather than to exchange gifts with each other. We still get something small for any minor children who will be present when we get together on a holiday, but the adult cousins are very happy with this arrangement as well which has made life easier and holidays happier for at least 15 years.

Materilism is what you make of it.

My sibilings and I use it as a way to get things we kinda need that we can’t afford. This christmas I’m asking for a swiffer set beucase it’s very difficult to use a mop and bucket on my tiny apt floor. My brother is asking for guitar picks…and he’s a musician.
On our end we save up to get stuff that our frugal parents won’t get for themselves…flavored hot chocolate, a book thats still in hardcover…

mostly we anticipate what’s needed, keep it simple and really keep it about sharing with one another.

Even in pioneer days people would sacrifice a little bit themselves and make or buy something for their family members.

I find something pompous about this letter. As if you’re saying “you all are selfish and I don’t want to do anything for you.” Saying “donate to this charity” because its saying that their gift isn’t good and that you refuse to give anything becuase you don’t think they need anything. Especially now when things are economically hard many people who are “haves” are turning into “have nots”…barley making ends meet. Practical gifts to them could make a world of difference.

It furthers the mentality that friends and family are not good enough for our charity, only strangers. I’ll bet if you look carefully at your friends and family there’s at least two people who could use a gift of food or clothing or even some fun (a board game they can play with their children, etc). If you think about it you KNOW a family that needs help. Why not send those people you usually gift a card saying that that’s all you’ll be sending and you’d like XYZ to help out the “Smith” family. Of course don’t use their name.

I wouldn’t take this too far. You don’t want your kids to hate Jesus because he’s the reason they’re not getting presents like virtually every other kid.

I agree that some groups of people take holidays too far, and frankly ruin them with the obligation to buy gifts for a ridiculous number of people. I would cry if I had to shop for 15 people, and it would definitely ruin my holiday.

But seriously, giving someone a gift is a nice gesture that lets them know you’ve thought about them and made some sacrifice of your money for them. I do this for my immediate family. I think it helps to strengthen family relationships, and a big part of what the holidays are about. Nothing un-Christian about that.

Now I’m kind of in agreement with the fact that Christmas is over comercialised, but Dh broke his guitar amplifier, and was quite depressed without it-he plays guitar to relieve stress, so I bought him one as an early Christmas present. He really loves it.AFM, I don’t care what I get.

I just had a discussion with a family member on this topic. In their church (not Catholic) they are starting a “movement” to make Christmas more about Christ. One of the ways they are accomplishing this is to not give gifts to each other. Instead, they will give gifts to some charity.

I agree with this, however, I still feel some sort of gift exchange should occur between immediate family members.

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