PART 2 Why we Stopped Giving our Kids Christmas Presents (Year 3 Update)

This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive commissions for items purchased through links in this post, although your price will remain the same.

In case you missed it, click here to read part 1 of this post (or here to read why we stopped giving our kids traditional Christmas gifts).

On the chance that you follow along with my life on Instagram, you may have noticed that I shared a pic of my living room with a film set up for a taping for Good Morning America. You guys, can I just tell you that it was maybe the most bizarre thing that has ever happened to me?! Here’s a run down of what happened:


While filling up water bottles as I was running out the door to take my kids to football practice I got a phone call. The caller introduced themselves quickly (and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t paying attention because I thought it was a sales call since it had a NY area code). They then asked if I was “the Kristen who gives her kids the gift of travel for Christmas?” Well, that got my attention! After a brief explanation of how Mika Kunis recently mentioned that she and Ashton Kutcher didn’t want their kids to get gifts, GMA was looking to interview me for an on air segment for the very next day. Ummm, I was flabbergasted and didn’t know what to do next! Thankfully my mom was already planning to meet me at football, so I rushed over to the field, threw my kids at her and ran home to shower! GMA said they were sending a crew to my house that would be there in less than an hour and a half. Yikes!


After showering, I slapped some makeup on and threw every single thing that was out of place in my downstairs into laundry baskets that I shoved into my bedroom. The camera crew arrived, set up shop in my living room and gave me quick instructions. I was asked the questions for the interview from an award winning producer over speakerphone (they would have dubbed in an on air personality for the actual segment) and it was all over before I knew it. All of it happened in a three hour whirlwind. (Sadly, this happened right as the Harvey Weinstein story broke and my segment was scrapped for more info about him. Boo.)


But, it was so exciting to know that maybe our thoughts on Christmas gifts are spreading. Maybe others are branching out from the traditional gift giving and coming up with solutions that work for their families.

Because this is totally working for our family and I just want to burst at the seams to tell people how much I love it. But there are some drawbacks. Here is my love/ hate list:



Choosing destinations can be hard and puts a lot of stress on me (I totally put that stress on myself). Tons of things come into play here including costs, when we can travel and what the weather is, what the kids could learn and experience and so on.

We do spend more on Christmas itself.  It’s hard to say we spend more overall though as we would still take trips regardless.

Waiting to travel! My husband’s work schedule very rarely agrees with me in when we should travel and basically never aligns with time the kids have off school.  Sometimes we have to wait a bit before we can take our trip.

Chatting with Santa to find stocking stuffers and gifts that relate to our trip. (That’s one of our rules.)



Traveling the world with my favorite people!

Seeing the changes in the kids from asking for toys to be added to their Christmas list all year long. Now they just excitedly chat about where we might go and what we might do. This in itself has blown my mind!

Not feeling the need to buy junky toys just to fill up the Christmas tree.

Okay, I’ll be honest here…I basically love everything about it. It was soooo hard for me to come up with a “hate” list.

Whew, if you stuck it out this long thank you! Thanks for understanding that what works for my family may not work for everyone. But if you are able to travel with your kids, at Christmas or otherwise, I so highly encourage you to do so. It’s so wonderful to experience other cultures with them!


And now I would love to ask for some input for our trip for next Christmas. We are hoping to have a foreign exchange student next year (that’s another story on its own, but I’ll be sure to fill you in soon) so we will probably travel within the U.S. to show them some more of America. What do you think we should do or see???

I’d love to hear about your Christmas traditions too! Please feel free to comment below, email or message me and let’s chat about it!


  1. This is seriously the best, and I’m so stealing it! And looking forward to hearing about the big adventure this year, I’m so jealous!

  2. Love the chistmas details! I grew up without any Christmas gifts, only the celebrations, and it was an amazing time. I learned a lot!

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge