Monday, November 03, 2008

Challenge: Clutter-Free Gift Giving

The state of the economy is heavy on consumer's minds this Christmas season. Some spenders plan to reduce their budget, while others do not. I would like to suggest that the attention put on financials could actually be a positive. Yes, it might be a good thing.... for the spirit of Christmas.

This year, I challenge you to move away from the "materialistic focus" of gift-giving to a "love focus." Instead of giving stuff, give the gift of time, experiences and gratitude. Don't buy a gift, just to get another person crossed off your list.

Easy Action Steps to Clutter-Free Gift Giving
  1. Make a list of those you would like to give a gift to.

  2. Really think about each recipient. What are their likes and dislikes? What are their hobbies? What dreams have they talked about? Brain storm on paper or the computer and an idea or clue might pop up.

  3. Make a list of your top 3 ideas for each person. Pick one for this year and file the list away for the next gift giving opportunity.

  4. Add to your list throughout the year.

Clutter-Free Gift Ideas to Get You Thinking

  1. Experiences
  2. Donations

  3. Consumables

  4. Time
  5. Expressions of your love and gratitude

Will you join me in this challenge? I will be posting 5 ideas for each area in the days to come. Come back often and share your clutter-free gift ideas!

3 comments:

Heather (How to be a Woman..?) said...

I have no tips and tricks for this, but I can't wait to see what everybody comes up with. I let Christmas get way out of hand, spending way too much, buying too much and never feeling like it was enough. Then, a bunch of stuff ended up untouched in piles.

Anonymous said...

Our family has decided to give simple gifts to immediate members only (mom, dad & kids--no grandkids yet). Beyond that, grandparents and some of the aunts, uncles & cousins have mutually agreed that we all have been blessed with enough material things and have been giving gifts of donations to our favorite charitable organizations in honor of each other. My favorite is at www.foodforthepoor.org/giftcatalog.
They work with the poorest of the poor in Haiti, Jamaica, Central America, etc.... where people often live in cardboard shacks with mud floors and send their children out to rummage in the local dump for food scraps or salvage junk to sell. Anyway, they have a nifty gift catalog that is easy to use. You can select a gift such as a pig, goat or flock of chicks to help sustain a family, or outfit a child with clothing and school supplies so they can attend school (providing education to help break the cycle of poverty). They provide beautiful cards and little certificates describing the significance of these gifts, that you can send along to your loved one. Everyone that has received one of these "gifts" has been appreciative, especially knowing that someone else will be receiving a gift that they TRULY need. Isn't that what the REAL Sprit of Christmas is all about?
Sorry this is so long-winded, but I felt the explanation is important. Anyway, do check it out.

Paula Constable said...

Anonymous,
Thank you so much for sharing! I really like this idea and I tried this with my family one year-people did contribute and they also exchanged gifts. The next year went back to exchanging gifts again.

This year, I have already started making a list of those places I want to donate to-lots of local food pantries this year. My kids are still young and I want to make donations a part of Christmas.

I believed everything we have is from God and we are called to servants. Out of our blessings (big or small) we are called to bless others whether that is with our time, money or gifts.

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