Instead of being a happy and joyous time of year, Christmas (and the holiday season in general) tends to add more stress and anxiety to already stressed out and busy lives for a lot of people. Whether is financial concerns or the pressure to find “the perfect gift” for a loved one, many people get overwhelmed from the pressure and emphasis placed on holiday gift giving. Messages from the media constantly reminding us that we are in or heading towards a recession and at the same time being told that there are X amount of days until Christmas can really talk a toll.
In my previous post in this series, I touched a little on homemade gifts. For a lot of us…or some of us, making gifts can be very relaxing and rewarding for both the giver and receiver. If you don’t have the time, patience, and/or skill to do that, here are some more low stress, and potentially money saving ideas.
Give only one gift.
A relatively low-stress, time, and money saving idea is to give one gift per friend or family member, including one gift for the children. You can also just give one gift, period. Just like many workplaces organizes a Secret Santa, this is something that can be done with friends and family. A Secret Santa is when you put the names of all of your friends, family, co-workers, group members, etc into a “hat” and everyone draws one name. You have one person to give one gift to. That’s it. Typically there is a price limit (usually around $15-20) for the gifts, but you can set the price limit to whatever you’d like as a group or family unit. For simplicity, you can use this free online service: Secret Santa; which is very useful for family and friends who are out of the area.
Give something you already have
I have a fairly large Kitchen Aid mixer (the biggest model they make) that I purchased with high hopes several years ago. I loved to bake and did it often. After being diagnosed with Celiac Disease and Insulin Resistance, my love of sweets and breads are over (for the most part) and I don’t make nearly enough gluten free alternatives to justify owning a huge mixer. There are many alternatives I can make, but its not something I do often since I very seldom share such foods with others. The mixer is in excellent condition and will make someone who also loves to bake very happy. Since it is very heavy, this will go to someone in my local area to avoid the high cost and hassle of shipping. Do you have items such as small kitchen appliances, books, baby items, etc that are in good condition you no longer need that someone else can use?
One way to reduce waste during the holiday season is to not create waste. This year I won’t be using any wrapping paper, but instead, I will wrap gifts using any stray tissue paper I collected over the past few years, scrap fabric from my sewing projects and finding creative ways to use ribbon or yarn to “wrap” gifts. Wrapping paper is not necessary, especially since it will end up in the recycling bin by the end of the day.
Here are some unconventional gift wrapping ideas at eartheasy.com.
Reducing Christmas waste when it comes to decorations is also essential. All That Glisters is Not Green from Guardian UK
Next post in this series: “Not buying it”.
What is your opinion regarding holiday gift giving in general?