Readers, how do you celebrate the exchanging of gifts with family members? And how do you get everyone to agree to the rules?
Maybe whoever hosts the family gathering sets the gift-giving guidelines -- for children only, gifts for everyone, or name drawing.
However it turns out, happy holidays and gift-giving to all!
GUEST'S ANSWER: Kathy Walker, local community leader: With the lure of perfect packages for perfect people on every corner and Christmas and Hanukkah shopping enticements going viral through the Internet and television, we have reacted by backing ourselves into corners of heightened anxiety when the very mention of "holiday" emerges. Prozac, anyone?
Perhaps we should focus on the lasting memories of faith traditions such as lighting the menorah each night for eight days during Hanukkah or lighting the candles in the Advent wreath each Sunday during the season of Advent. Assign the children to light the candles and ask them to light whether it be for peace, love, hope, joy or justice in this world or beyond.
Special meals for the family and friends can become a springboard for collecting recipes from everyone in the family. Journal and publish a record of this year's gatherings with photos and recipes and distribute to everyone as a communal gift.
A good friend plays Santa Bingo with her family. She provides the gifts, sets a dollar limit on each one, and the entire extended family plays on Christmas Day.
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