We don’t buy gifts. I know. It’s hard to wrap your head around. But really, it’s truly the biggest way we’ve simplified the holidays.
No insanity at the mall, no agonizing over what would be the perfect gift, no worrying about money, and no wasted time waiting in lineups at the store. Are you sold yet? What about all the waste associated with the packaging and the wrapping? And just think about all the gifts people have bought you that you’ve just never used? There’s a burden that comes with that. You don’t want to hurt the gift giver’s feelings by returning it or giving it away but you still have to store it and pack it up if you decide to move. Plus physical clutter leads to mental clutter which leads to not getting anything done that’s important to you.
So we don’t buy gifts. We’ve been known to make homemade soap, pickles, chocolate truffles, and other sweet treats but that’s pretty much the extent of our holiday gifting. We’re all adults here, if there’s something we really want we all have the means to go out and buy it for ourselves. We’ve separated gift-giving from a way of showing people we care about them. Instead we focus on what’s more important, spending time together. It really is the best, and only way to show someone you really love them.
Darren and I make homemade cards for each other that are focused on the words of love written inside that are true and real and not cookie cutter for the masses. My brothers and I have an agreement that we won’t be exchanging gifts. Same with Darren’s brother and sister. Our niece and nephews are completely spoiled by their grandparents so they don’t need anything from us. Darren’s parents make us a gloriously tasty collection of sweets. And my mother uses the money she would have spent on us to pay the hydro bill at her cottage as our gift to her.
The Result - We save a bunch of money, free up a ton of time and energy, and are A LOT HAPPIER because of it.
Make it Your Own - Talk to your family. Try it out for a year. Need help convincing them?
- Read: The Case Against Buying Christmas Presents on Zen Habits – there’s suggestions for kids, family, and spouses, as well as alternatives to shopping
- Print: A Holiday Gift Exemption Certificate from Miss Minimalist
Do you buy gifts at Christmas? Or do you hand make your presents? Have you found another way to show your family you love them? Or do you not give gifts at all? How did you explain your decision to your family? How did they handle it?