Every year as the holidays approach, we try to consider how we can keep this time of year simple. The month between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is often filled with excess—an excess of food, stuff, and tasks. So how do you retain your commitment to simplifying while still enjoying the fun and festivities the season offers? We love the holidays, and were excited to learn that when we simplified we enjoyed them even more. So in our “Simplify the Holidays” series we share how we celebrate the season while still keeping the excess to a minimum!
Giving gifts is one of the joys of the season. And it feels great to make someone happy when you give a thoughtful, meaningful gift. Here are a few ideas…
1) Instead of material gifts consider giving your time such as cooking someone dinner or babysitting for a friend or relative. Or if you live far away from loved ones or don’t see one another often, perhaps the greatest gift is simply your presence. In our family, the adults have decided not to give one another gifts as we feel being together is the best gift we can give each other. But we still enjoy giving all the kids presents!
2) You may also consider giving someone the gift of a cool experience such as a night out, a trip, a surfing lesson, a wine tasting at a local vineyard, a painting class, etc…
3) Make a donation to a favorite charity in honor of someone. Does the person you’re choosing a gift for have a cause they support? Or do you know of a charity that’s in alignment with their interests? Consider giving the gift that gives back…
4) Give green gifts. Check out Tree Huggers Green Gift Guide for products from companies who care about the earth, their employees and the materials they use to make their product.
5) Try wrapping presents with recycled paper or choose boxes and cloth gift bags, which can be used again for years to come. Recycled wrapping paper is now available at many stores. A few of our favorites include Greenfield Paper Company and Fish Lips Design. For cloth gift bags try the beautiful Viva Terra’s Silk Wraps.
6) Make your own holidays cards from materials you have at home or buy cards made from recycled paper.
If you would like to consider other ways to simplify, check out the rest of our “Simplify the Holidays” series:
Preparing for the Holidays: Simplify Your Home
Preparing for the Holidays: Simplify Your Holiday Traditions
Preparing for the Holidays: Simplify Your Holiday Meal
Simplify Your Holiday: Tips for a Peaceful Celebration