Alright, people, there is not much time left before the magic season is upon us. Gather your holiday mojo, and let’s make it happen. It occurs to me that the holiday season can be one of the most clutter-generating times of the year. I read a blog post from the Minimalists about gift-giving tips, which triggered that thought. We give and receive gifts, buy decorations, and load up on extra food “just in case.” This holiday stuff fills your life with clutter and empties your wallet! Here are a few gift-giving tips that can reduce clutter and save you time and money.
Make Your Own
Consider making gifts. Give coupons offering your time for things like babysitting services, car washing, snow shovelling and house cleaning. Get your children involved by making these coupons as gifts and offering them to friends and family.
Donate to Charity
Why not donate to a local charity in someone’s name instead of buying them some more “stuff.” For example, if you have a family member who loves sports, consider supporting the programs of the YMCA.
Pay it Forward
Pass along a family heirloom like dishes or jewelry. These items are meant to be used and enjoyed. If you’re not using them, give them to another family member who will enjoy them. Include a story about the gift and why it has a special significance in the family.
Give Gift Cards
Gift cards are an awesome choice. Here are some of my favourite things. A shopping mall gift certificate (good for any store in the mall) or a gift card from iTunes or Spotify for the music lover in your life. Give a gift card for a child’s piano, swimming, or horseback riding lessons. Purchase tickets to a sporting event. Give a gift certificate for my personal favourite, a trip to the spa (hint, hint, hint).
And finally, here are some holiday shopping tips to help you save time. Organize your purse or wallet before you shop. Eliminate any unnecessary receipts, paperwork or other items. Make a list of gifts to buy and for whom you are buying. If you don’t know what to buy for someone, write down the amount you wish to spend; that way, you won’t spend too much. Shop during off-peak hours and plan your route so you’re not wasting time crisscrossing town.
In addition to finding the perfect gift, try to set aside enough time to spend some of it with those you care about over the holidays. Sometimes that is what creates those memories that last for years.
For all of those super-organized people who have everything done and ready to go, please share some of your favourite holiday organizing tips with me. I’ll pass them along so we don’t get into a pickle like this again next year.