Disclaimer: We have been having minimal Christmases for many years now and our children know what do expect. One year I did give my kids a towel set in their favorite color and that is all they got, but they were really excited and happy about it. Other people did not respond well when I said that is what I gave my kids and their children would not have been pleased to get towels. Simple gift giving is something you need to discuss with family members before you implement it. If you have children, call a family meeting, discuss your desires, and allow each person an opportunity to share their own feelings and desires. Some families will choose to forgo gifts all together and sponsor a goat or a well for an impoverished village instead, others may choose to give only homemade gifts or only buy local.
It’s also a good idea to give friends and extended family a heads-up if you typically exchange gifts with them.
Several of our friends had been giving our children gifts each year, but now that they know our hearts, they donate to a charity in our names instead. Our children are happy when they get a card in the mail saying someone donated chickens to a village and our friends have been thankful for the opportunity to get their own children involved in deciding what/who to donate towards and the discussion that brings up.
15 Clutter Free Gift Ideas:
- Food items. Homemade is coveted by many. Homemade jams, jellies, quick breads, cookies, candy and jerky are great. For the real food friends: Peanut Butter Bites, Sprouted Lentils in a jar, dehydrated fruits and veggies make a beautiful gift. Who wouldn’t love a jar of dehydrated chili peppers? An excellent coffee or wine is enjoyable if you don’t have time to spend in the kitchen, many times you can find local options.
- Gift cards. For some this may be too impersonal, but it is a great way to support local sales. Suggestions: Local Food Co-op, local coffee roaster, real food restaurants.
- Get creative. Make pillow cases with fabric that resembles their interests. Knit or crochet wash clothes for their kitchen or nice wool socks.
- Give color coded towel sets. Using their favorite color or monogram each person’s towel.
- Events. Tickets to a play, concert, dance or sports event, yearly membership to a zoo, museum, children’s museum, science center.
- Lessons. Often times people are interested in learning a musical instrument, dance or taking a photography, art or quilting class, but don’t splurge on themselves.
- iPad or laptop decals are fun and a great way to show that you pay attention to their interests.
- Give a gift of love. Safe drinking water, animals, food, medical care, etc. for those in need around the world. Compassion, World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse are great organizations and have many gift options.
- Service. A gift certificate for car-detailing, manicure & pedicure or a message. An AAA membership.
- Give time. Homemade gift certificates for a coffee date, game of checkers, babysitting or a walk through a park. (Many kids would rather spend an hour outside playing catch with a person then receive a toy.)
- Joint activities. Give a cookbook and ingredients for a dinner. Set a date to cook together. This works for adults as well as children.
- Give a family photo or family portrait session. Most grandparents just want an updated family photo, perhaps one from each family, or photography session over the holidays when all the extended family is together and a group photo can be captured. A calendar made with special photos of family members is wonderful as well.
- Heirloom seed packs are great for the avid gardener or an essential oil starter kit for those interested in natural healing. (Seriously, essential oils are wonderful! I’ve been able to replace most things in my medicine cabinet!!)
- Baltic Amber and hazel necklaces have wonderful healing properties to them. Great gifts for anyone struggling with inflammation, head aches, heartburn and babies teething.
More Clutter Free Gift Ideas:
- 18 Non-Clutter Gifts for Baby Showers
- 18 Non-Toy Gifts for Toddlers
- 18 Non-Toy Gifts for Children
- 18 Clutter Free Gift Ideas for Teens
- 18 Clutter Free Gifts for Men
- 18 Clutter Free Gifts for Women
- 18 Clutter Free Gifts for Grandparents
- 18 Clutter Free Gifts for Teachers
- Clutter Free Stocking Stuffers
- 11 Ways to Get Friends and Family on Board with the Limited Gifts Idea
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