It’s the most wonderful (exhausting?) time of the year… and it’s almost upon us. Considering we’re now well in to November, Ben and I wanted to spend the next few weeks talking about how we may be able to reduce the stress, overwhelm, expense, clutter and expectations we all feel when the silly season arrives, and today we begin by going to the heart of the matter – gifts.
It kind of bugs me that this is the first question that comes to mind, because as far as I’m concerned, the holidays should be about spending time with people we love and having enough time to actually sit and enjoy their company. It shouldn’t be about stuff at all, and yet, that’s the overarching theme of the Christmas and holiday season.
So instead of just ranting about it, in today’s episode we offer you a few ways of changing your mindset regarding gifts and showing love, but also share a whole heap of (hopefully) practical and interesting gifts that won’t add to the endless clutter that comes with the seemingly endless gift giving.
Plus, we also talk about the benefit of experiences over things, homemade and consumable gifts and one of my favourites – giving the gift of our time and skills.
We also talk about the fact that, yes, Ben and I do give Christmas gifts to our kids, and that rather than get lost in the Toy of the Year craziness, buying whatever plastic piece of junk is on the Must Have List for all girls and boys, we stick to these guidelines. They usually serve us pretty well:
- Something they want
- Something they need
- Something to wear
- Something to read
We then also list some of my favourite clutter-free gift ideas for a variety of ages, including:
- Young kids: movie, theatre, concert tickets, sporting event passes, annual pass to a local attraction
- Older kids: movie or event tickets, art, music, dance or cooking classes,
- Teenagers: classes or lessons, concert tickets, vouchers to Etsy, iTunes, Google Play etc
- Adults: consumables, cooking lessons, online courses, charitable gifts, vouchers for babysitting, gardening, time spent together
Sometimes it takes a little creativity or a little deeper questioning on what the person would like, but these thoughtful gifts are so wonderful and you know they get to spend time doing something they enjoy as opposed to simply being given something they may or may not even need, use or want.
Undoubtedly, it’s a tricky time to make sweeping changes to the way you and your family do gifts, but even by introducing some of these ideas this year you can pave the way for simpler, slower, less cluttered Christmases in the years ahead.
Do you have a favourite clutter-free gift? What’s been the best you’ve ever received?
Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!
Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:
- Clutter-Free Gift Guide
- Episode 201 – How to tame the eco-anxiety and tit-for-tat gift giving
- The Gift of Death by George Monbiot
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