T-minus 10 days until Christmas. If you don’t have all of your presents yet, don’t freak out, I may have a solution. 
First, let me reassure you that we are probably way behind you on the Christmas thing. We don’t have a tree, we don’t have a single gift, and nothing feels holiday like yet. But it will. I believe we can pull it off even though we are in a foreign country, in a foreign home, celebrating the holidays in yet another tropical country with the lack of that freezing white stuff (snow) that forces you into the holiday spirit. But that’s off topic. 
As I was scrolling through facebook today, daydreaming of how to Christmas-fy things around here, I came across this post (in french) putting forward a Gift Challenge. The challenge is to limit each person’s gifts to 4 things, plus maybe a few for the stockings, but that’s it. It got me thinking. This type of challenge is quite perfect for us, and possibly you, for several reasons. Especially if you are behind on buying gifts, then you can use this challenge as an excuse! 
  • How much stuff do we really need!? Yes it’s fun to spoil our loved ones, but a child (or anyone really) can only handle so many gifts before it turns into total overload. The non-stop barrage of gifts turns your home into a site of mass destruction of boxes and wrapping paper, and turns kids/adults into present addicts looking for the rush of the next best present. Instead, why not just put some extra thought into a few things and see how that turns out. Stress gratefulness of the time and thought that went into the gifts rather than the pure quantity of items.
  • Availability and quality of things. With our traveling we have spent Christmases in many different places, and in trying to “keep up with the Jones'”, to spoil each other, and still wanting to have a full present stash, we have sometimes been forced into buying things that we didn’t really need, or that weren’t the quality we would usually buy. There is no need to buy things just for the sake of having more presents to open. Again, quality, not quantity. And if you are in a country where there really isn’t anything you could see yourself buying, go for the laugh factor…like when we bought Baby Arias a dog squeaky toy in Bahamas because that was all there was!
  • Space. On a boat you need room to store all of this stuff. And with traveling, whatever you accumulate along the way you have to carry. So think of that. Is it worth carrying with you, in your bags or your boat or in your home, for the many days to come.
  • Money is always a factor. The holidays are a time when we all love to embellish a little. To spread the love and feel the love. And money is what makes that all happen. But think of your priorities, what is your ultimate goal in life. If you are wanting to travel, why not put some of that money you were going to spend on gifts aside and make sure it goes to your travel fund instead. Or if you were hoping to bring smiles and a feeling of love, why not spend some of that money on someone outside your circle, someone who won’t expect it. Spread it around for real. 

I think you and I can see reason in any one of the above reasons for not going completely crazy with the gift giving this holiday season.
So here is the actual challenge: 4 Presents for the Holidays
1 present: Something They Want
1 present: Something They Need
1 present: Something They Can Wear
1 present: Something They Can Read

Although I am late in proposing this challenge, I think it is a good one to keep in the back of you mind as you count the gifts for every individual under your tree this year. We may test it out too. And on the 25th we can all report back on how it went over with the fams!

   If you are still struggling with what to get that special someone that may fit into one of the above four categories, here are some ideas: Educational and Fun games for kids, Tools that should be mandatory for a boat and home, the top 10 things that make boat life easier (kitchen/bathroom), and the things that helped us while traveling long flights with the girls. If you are still out of ideas, peruse through our Sponsors page, there are some amazing companies there that we reached out to because we love their products and maybe your special one will too.
This holiday season make sure everyone puts a little more emphasis on who is around the Christmas tree rather than what presents are under it.