The Best Gift For Someone Who Has Everything

My husband loves the comic strip Mutts. When I saw this little gem at Pet News and Views, I had to “get it for him” for Christmas.

But I don’t think he’ll mind if I share it with you.

What do you get for someone who has everything?

Nothing. And someone to share it with.

Honey the Golden Retriever is a lap dog.

Bet you never guessed Honey was a lap dog.

Have you pared down your gift giving for holidays and other occasions? Do you ever give “alternative gifts” like donations to charities?

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  1. I loved this but don’t try telling little kids they are getting “nothing” lol. My husband and I got each other “nothing”….all I did was buy us both new Lion’s jackets…and with their season the way that it is the Lions themselves have given us “nothing” but the WRONG kind of “nothing”

  2. I love this video and the concept behind it. This year I haven’t bought a single gift of merchandise…Everyone I know already has all the “stuff” they need…Instead, when I’ve seen a cause or need that touches my heart I’ve given what donation I could…I may never get that personal “thank you” that a gift-wrapped box might bring, but inside I believe I believe I’ve tapped into my own true spirit of giving

  3. Oh, my gosh. That is completely precious. I’m going to share that! My family decided on a present-free Christmas this year. The idea was that none of us really needed anything, so why buy more stuff that’ll just pile up? We’ll see how it goes!

    • I’d love to hear about your holiday afterwards to know if it still felt special without gifts.

      I have a hard time breaking away from the ritual of gift giving but I don’t feel the need to spend lots of money. In the past, besides making charitable donations in someone’s name, I’ve given consumables. (Personally, I love getting good fruit for the holidays.)

      This year I’ve made simple hand made gifts for everyone. It’s been lots of fun.

  4. We have definitely paired down our giving. I get something for my two little nieces, and we sent gift cards to our 4 adult boys. We really don’t worry about getting each other gifts, we have what we need.

  5. I love Mutts too and have given the book “The Gift of Nothing” to many folks. It’s wonderful!
    We have definitely pared down on the gifts – we don’t exchange gifts with my family or the hub’s. (But then, we don’t have any small kids in the families.) Makes life so much easier, and everyone already has enough “stuff”. The hubs and I exchange a few small things (lots of books or sometimes things we need for the house) but mostly I prefer to “give” plans to do something together.
    The only real holiday shopping I have to do is to help the hubs get gifts for his staff at work.

  6. Oh Pamela, I so want to embrace your holiday philosophy, but my family thinks I’m nuts. I’d rather my very large, extremely busy family give each other the gift of our time and go ride the Christmas Train and make Gingerbread house and all that fun like we did when we were little.

  7. If ‘Nothing’ means tangible things then I agree that Nothing is the best gift as long as it’s replaced with Love, Time, Listening and Understanding. Those are the best non-tangible gifts one can give family and friends.

  8. We have definitely pared down our gifts this year. As much as I love spending money on others (and I really, really do) it’s not feasible this year. Probably in part because I spent too much in previous years! My husband and I agreed on no gifts for one another and instead we are going to focus on the food. For me, that’s what it’s always been about anyway!

  9. I really like this book and have given it to many people. I have a new word/concept for 2013 ala Kristine but will wait to share (plus am running out of time). Giving of one’s self is the best gift ever!

  10. The video is just adorable and the sentiment is so sweet. I don’t celebrate Christmas and we don’t give presents for Hanukkah, we give money. That’s the tradition.

    Most of all I have BJ to hug and kiss and hug and kiss. What else is there?

  11. Loved the little video, thanks for sharing! Nick and I have pared down our giving a lot over the years. We no longer give to each other for birthdays and Christmas, although we do go out for dinner for B-days instead. We also don’t buy for the pets (as much as it pains Toby). They have everything they need.

    This year my side of the family picked names from a hat to give to, rather than everyone buying for each other. Everyone already has enough stuff, and you end up buying stuff people don’t even want and you know they either return it or re-gift it anyway. :-)

  12. We have pared down some, but it seems to be a bone of contention in my husband’s family. His parents have had some hardships and so it was decided last year that we’d just do dollar gifts. This year when it came time to draw names, one of my sisters in law (who just had baby number three) got really annoyed about putting the kids’ names in for all the adults to draw one and actually said “It’s not fair for the kids to get screwed.” I thought it was pretty convenient for her to say that when we don’t have any kids. We get screwed over on it every year. But I love giving gifts and finding things for people. I just would rather get something for someone that is meaningful to them in some way, and not have to worry about the money that goes into it. If I ever become a widow, I probably won’t remarry, but if I do, he’ll have to be an orphan!

    • That truly is a difficult call. i understand the feeling of “getting screwed”. I’ve always have three times as many gifts as people have to get for me. I think you should stick to your original plan. If your sister-in-law feels that the kids should get more presents, let her buy them. Then the kids will have more to open.

    • Mike Webster says:

      The idea that “it’s not fair for the kids to get screwed” is grounded in the perhaps unconscious assumption that the concept of “fairness” is inextricably bound in its very nature to the notion of “Me Getting Stuff.” A year in which a family is seen taking great joy in humble dollar gifts could be one in which its kids begin to learn about fairness as something other-oriented rather than self-oriented. Of course, since the lesson runs hard against the culture’s expectations, the family would have to be firmly united in the conviction that it is an important one to teach.

      • I thought everyone had a good time getting dollar gifts last year, but I guess not all of us thought so. Generally, my husband’s family is a lot less materialistic than mine, and so when this issue came up, I was more taken aback. Next year, I’d like to just suggest a family draw and let each family get another family a gift instead of all the individual gifts, but I have a feeling I won’t have much pull in that area. Every year, we swear that we’re going to just disappear during the holidays, but we never do.

  13. Mike Webster says:

    From the Husband:
    Charming. That cartoon is really something! :)
    Thank you, sweetheart.

  14. I’ve been doing a pared down Christmas for the last few years, probably a little easier to do being single. I don’t participate in gift exchanges (seems silly when I can buy myself anything that would be in the price range.) and just buy a few presents, this year it was one for my niece and 1 for my sister and BIL. I try to buy gifts I know they will use and as my niece gets older, I want to give her more experience type gifts (museums, horse riding lessons, etc.) then material gifts. She gets enough of those from my sister.


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