Gift giving can create stress. We all need less stuff in our lives, but we want to give a gift that shows we care. We’ve got some ideas to help reduce holiday stress and inspire thoughtful, caring gifts.
Reduce Holiday Stress by Shopping with Intention
I have to remind myself to slow down. I get into a holiday frenzy and it’s easy to just pick up gifts that let me check names off my list. Take your time an consider each person while you’re at home, away from temptation. Once you are out in the world, make sure to ask yourself if you are buying that item because it is something special, or because you found it “at a great price.”
Giving experiences instead of gifts
By giving experiences you can create memories that can last a lifetime. Plan a family trip, take a hot air ballon ride, get season tickets to a sports team or a theater, go on an outdoor adventure. We loved this article in Wellness Mama that explains why gifting experience can be a game changer (along with some great ideas). Or you can consider gifts that lend themselves to new experiences. This can mean anything from a tent and plans to go camping, or a gift that helps start a new hobby, like a sewing machine and lessons, or a skateboard. Remember to back up the gift with a way to use it.
Support sustainable businesses
Consider buying toys made from wood instead of plastic. They will probably hold up better and last longer. Here’s a great list of wooden toys that won’t break Christmas morning, or need batteries.
Help give the gift of less waste. whether it’s refillable shampoo, reusable water bottle or bees wax wrap there are so many gifts that can mean less waste in the future instead of more. Zero Waste Nerd has a list of 101 zero waste gift ideas.
Support local. It you need to give something think about the small stores in your neighborhood. Often local artists can make you custom items that will be far more memorable than anything mass produced.
Support nonprofits with donations as gifts
Is there any issue that someone in your family is passionate about? Consider a donation in their honor. Most nonprofits will happily send a card or you can print out information about their message and wrap that up!
Add a New Holiday tradition
This is something you can do as a family anytime during the holiday season. Go see some holiday lights, knit a hat for the homeless, volunteer at an animal shelter, make cards for shut-ins. Make it an event that the whole family is involved with. Better yet, if you have kids, let them choose the activity. Who in their community do they want to help? There’s no buyer’s remorse on a good deed.
You don’t have to give anything up to shift your priorities and gift less stuff. We’d love to hear your ideas to reduce holiday stress, make the holidays memorable and more meaningful. Tag us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest . Much thanks to Amy McGlinn for the inspiration for this post.