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?
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
Support the Show:You may have heard that we recently hit 3 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much. If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs. Most importantly, thanks for being here!
Love Slow? Support the show!
- Join the Slow Experiment Club over on Patreon. We’re launching a new Slow Experiment soon (focused on social media use) and you can join in the fun for as little as $1 a month
- Follow us on Instagram @slowhomepod
- Sign up for our slow-living love letters
- Leave a rating or review in iTunes
- Keep listening: