We are being buried by junk and stuff and belongings. With the gift-giving holidays here, I’ve been thinking about stuff. Buying stuff for others, planning on the incoming stuff, and trying to organize the stuff that we already have. Frankly, it’s stressing me out, especially since I’ve been working really hard towards less waste and minimalism.
We are fortunate that we are surrounded by family and friends that are incredibly generous, especially with our child. So it’s a tricky position to be in when family wants to shower us with gifts when in all honesty, we would rather just spend more quality time with them.
In our household, we don’t give a ton of gifts to each other on holidays or birthdays. We have really tried to make it a point, even on anniversaries, that what matters is showing that we love each other. We do this by spending time together, simple acts of kindness, and verbally reminding each other of our love. It’s made the holidays that much more special because the focus is taken from the material objects and shopping madness back to what matters most, which is each other.
Here are a few simple ideas for non-stuff gifts. Gifts that won’t clutter your home, but that show thought and meaning:
- The gift of an experience: Experiences are proven to make people happier than material objects. It can include passes to museums or cooking classes or even tickets to games, ballets, and operas. Or it can be completely free and just be some time set aside to play ball or teach a card game.
- A monetary donation in the recipient’s name: One of my most treasured gifts was the donation gift my mom made on my behalf to an animal shelter. The shelter sent me a description of how the money was helping animals and even a picture of one of the shelter’s inhabitants. Find a cause that the recipient supports and make a donation in their name for a gift guaranteed to tug their heart strings.
- Food: I cannot express enough how much I love getting food like chocolate as a gift. I suppose it could count as an experience gift because it’s a gift that is experienced. But the gift of nourishment is a fun, simple, and affordable gift that won’t add to the piles of stuff. And what better way to show love than with a batch of freshly baked something like cookies!
- Used items: If nothing else strikes your fancy, or you would just rather have something to wrap up and give, consider a used item. There are already so many things out in the world, and many of those things are in perfectly good shape. A great example of this is used books. They are dirt cheap from the local library or second hand store and books are honestly always nice to have around.