Let's face it, December is an expensive time of year! This is my first Christmas season as a single mom so needless to say, I've been thinking about the cost of gift giving a bit more this year. I've actually even been considering craft-type gifts for those on my list and trust me, I'm not a craft person. With a little bit of thought, I'm going to try to keep my spending and clutter-giving Christmas to a minimum this year. So, I thought I would share, hopefully without giving away what I'm giving to friends and family...who also read this blog. ;)
If you aren't someone who has been shopping throughout the year and now December is here, is it possible to postpone spending the money? Yes! Make up a gift certificate for an “experience” with the gift receiver. One year, I gave a card to a loved one with a homemade gift certificate that suggested we take an afternoon off work and spend it together getting a pedicure at the beginning of summer. HE (yes, HE) still says to this day, that that was the best gift I have given him...an experience and even better, no clutter!
Also, how many more trinkets do we really need in our homes? None! Collect up as many as you can from your own home, and donate them to a charity, such as the Salvation Army. Not only are you clearing space in your own home for new treasures you'll receive this holiday season, you will also be blessing someone else's home with an item that they may love, PLUS, you're supporting a charity that does great work. Win-win-win! Don't forget to do it again when you are trying to find space when decorating for the season...and again when you are putting away the decorations in the new year.
Are you a member of a “group” (ie: moms group, etc) or is there an annual gift exchange at your office? Before everyone goes out and buys yet another $10 trinket for the gift exchange, consider asking everyone to spend that money on a gift basket for a cause you can agree on. A mom's group I'm part of chose a local women's shelter so, at our get together this week, everyone has been asked to bring toiletries and/or unwrapped toys for the gift basket to be taken over to the shelter. I have a basket in my bathroom where I collect all the free samples I receive in the mail throughout the year, to include in a basket for just this purpose.
What about that person on your list who has everything? Almost everyone has a charity of choice these days...Autism is mine. Make a donation to the organization in that person's name. Non-profits have cards that say a donation has been made in honour/in memory of a person. If you do it now, they will have enough time to send it out. I have done this each year for my kids' daycare, giving a donation to the local library, naming the daycare as the honouree. I'll be doing it for teachers this Christmas too. My theory has always been that, although they are wonderful educators for my children, they really don't need another pencil kit or “World's Best Teacher” mug. I've also added to the gift by baking my infamous pumpkin loaf too...that goes over really well when they get a bit of a break.
What clutter-less gifts will you be giving this year?
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