We just spent the week talking about gift giving. We talked about ways to make your gifts more thoughtful and ways to give kids gifts without it feeling like you are overrun with toys. There are still some ways you can make your gift giving simpler.
Here are some tips to make gift giving simpler this year, and when in doubt follow Len’s advice: If I can’t eat it or drink it, I don’t want it. #glugglug #yumyum #nailedit
Take the pressure off
- Don’t feel like you have to make everything by hand. If this isn’t your scene, then don’t bombard yourself with pinterest projects. Girl put down the glue gun and get thee to the liquor store to buy wine for your closest friends. It’s the age-old, ‘play up your strengths and plan for your weaknesses and buy Rose’.
- Don’t feel like it has to be expensive. The most important aspect of giving a gift is to make it thoughtful. Maybe that means spending money, maybe it doesn’t. If someone is giving you a minimum amount to spend on their gift, fill their gift bag with as many discount Christmas socks as it takes to reach that limit. Setting monetary minimums just furthers the consumerism of Christmas, it negates the true meaning behind giving someone a ‘gift’ of thought and love.
- Don’t feel like it has to be a traditional gift. Gift cards get a bad rap. Maybe because gift cards are the go-to when you find yourself wandering the grocery store at 9:37pm on Christmas Eve to get last minute gifts and assessing the etiquette around gifting boxes of mandarin oranges and brandname batteries. Gift cards can be done with class. Does a friend mention a clothing brand they love? Want to send some friends on a date night to a new restaurant? Does your sister really want to hang some art in her hallway? Don’t shy away from gift cards, sometimes they take the thoughtfulness of the gift giving and let the giftee fine tune the details to their liking. Make sure to add a personal note to the card on how you picked this for them for a specific reason.
- Don’t feel like you have to get something for everyone. Unless you have an ‘aw crap’ stash somewhere in your house, you are likely to run into that situation where you received a gift and didn’t have one to give in return. I loved this article of etiquette opinions on what you can do in this situation.
- Reduce the gift list. When you are faced with larger groups of people to buy for (nieces/nephews, extended family, all your girlfriends) set up a name exchange. We’ve done this for years in my families and it makes life much simpler and allows you really to focus in on one person that year.
- Forgo the stockings. Stockings are fun but they are tricky, it’s tempting to buy ‘small’ everything instead of taking the time to seek out a buttload of tiny and awesome items. Really, the stockings should be done by best friends instead of husbands. Maybe that is why we usually omit the stockings for adults in our house. A girl can only have so many pairs of slippers.
- Get help with gift ideas. We all have those people in our lives who are hard to buy for. Look through their pinterest boards. Interrogate their family members on what they have been talking about. Ask their bestie for clues. If you aren’t getting anywhere with sleuthing for ideas, just ask them what is on their wish list this year.
- Make a list (of course) . Be it a spreadsheet, a note on your cell, or good ole pen and paper – make a list of who you will be buying for, what you will get them and a budget you need to follow. Stick to the list. Don’t hit up the dollar store on Christmas Even because you think it isn’t enough (that was me last year).
- Shop online. I know it is dreamy to wander a mall with a red coffee cup warming your hands, but that is for childless people with ample vacation days. Malls at Christmastime? That’s for suckas. Get your shopping done online, get it done early so everything has time to ship, and stick with places that have free shipping and free returns.
- Wrap it as it comes. I’ve forgotten this rule too many times and spent Christmas Eve fighting with wrapping paper scraps when I wanted to be cuddling with my husband and getting tipsy and overemotional about Love Actually. Wrap it as it comes in and make sure to write an initial or name on the present. (Pro Mom Tip from my friend, she uses a different colour wrapping paper for each kid then keeps a little legend in a secret place).
- Collect gift ideas. Keep a list throughout the year of gift ideas so that when it’s Christmas mode you might actually get them something they mentioned for the summer rather than some more cranberry scented candles. Though those sound lovely too.
And don’t forget, the holidays are about enjoying each other’s company, and Jesus, obviously. Instead of stressing about gifts, just stop and smell the cranberry-scented candles and be thankful for all the gifts you already have been given. Like Jesus, obviously.
Subscribe by email to receive a weekly digest of Simple on Purpose posts.
Join in Simple Saturdays
Around here I'm doing less blogging and more emailing. Sign up to get the bi-weekly email Simple Saturdays in your inbox.
You will love it. It isn't just any old email! It is a fun, quick read of insights, tips and references for everything simple, on purpose, and waffles.