Limiting your holiday gift giving

26 October 2017

I’m a big believer in not giving people clutter as gifts. In my clients’ homes, I often see how hard it is for them to let go of items they received as a gift, even if they don’t like or don’t use the item. As I’ve blogged about before I’m in favor of making the holiday season easier on gift givers by simplifying or limiting the gifts you give and receive.

How about stopping giving gifts altogether?

It’s late October. As you’re thinking about your Christmas or Hanukkah gift list this year do you think you could approach some of the adults on the list and propose that you not exchange gifts at all? Think of the benefits:

  • Less time spent shopping
  • Less time spent wrapping
  • Less money spent on gifts
  • Less emotion spent angsting over the perfect gift
  • No worry about adding clutter to your loved one’s home

You don’t have to eschew the exchange of gifts altogether (though I think that’s a great idea). You could replace a physical gift with an event you could attend together. Or a spa day. Or a meal. Or you could agree to make a donation to a charity on the other person’s behalf.

I exchange very few gifts in December and I have the easiest holiday season of anyone I know. (I do send out holiday cards, but I really enjoy doing that.)

How would it feel to let go of buying so many gifts (and also receive fewer gifts)? If the prospect of limiting your gift giving gives you a sense of ease, I suggest you try contacting one person on your gift list and see how s/he would feel about not exchanging gifts this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if your suggestion was met with great enthusiasm. Taking away the pressure to give might be a gift in itself.

Then approach someone else. And another person. If you whittle down your list of people you have to shop for, your holiday season might become less stressful and more celebratory. Doesn’t that sound nice?

Photo by via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.

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I love doing donations in someone’s name in lieu of a gift. One year I made my own scratch-off “lottery” tickets where the square the person chose to scratch determined what charity the money went to. Another popular idea in my family is “certificates” for things like window-cleaning or scanning photos. There are lots of fun ideas, and this post is a good reminder at this time of year!

Shona 10/26/2017 11:45 PM

Brilliant! I didn’t know one could make scratch off tickets! Thanks for commenting.

Janine Adams 10/27/2017 07:14 AM

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About Janine

Janine Adams

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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