Would you like to simplify the gift giving this year? I have several ideas for you to consider. It may seem difficult at first because you and I are most probably entrenched in our gift giving habits. If you are at all like me perhaps you think it has gotten a bit out of hand. You might be surprised that those on your list might just feel the same way. To that end I would like to suggest some ideas that I have come up with to simplify the gift giving aspect of the holiday while at the same time maintaining the spirit of the season and giving you back some precious time to spend with those who mean the most to you.
Try this activity to help you on the path to simplification. List out the names of the people who you plan to give gifts to. Next, put a check mark next to those on your list that you think might be open to the idea of not exchanging gifts. Then put a plus sign by anyone who might be willing to exchange fewer or simpler gifts. Finally put an X next to those who would oppose this change whatsoever. Doing this should give you a better idea of how to approach gift giving ideas. Here then is a list of ideas to share with those who are up for a change and simplification. I think that these will work for most families and offices. Put a check next to the ones that might work for you.
- Name drawing – Put everyone’s name in a hat and draw the name of one person that you will now be giving a gift to.
- Trimming a few names – Talk with the people who might welcome the idea of not to exchange gifts. Instead give one another the gift of time and gathering for Christmas Cheer instead.
- Family Gifts – Give one gift per household instead of separate gifts for everyone.
- Just for kids – Keep giving gifts for young kids only.
- Alternative Gifts – Give simple handmade or homemade gifts this year. Give gifts of service, a special cause, a special trip or vacation.
Keep in mind one alternative won’t work for everyone. Make separate arrangements for separate households or groups.
If you choose to consider this idea, keep in mind that it takes time to break old habits and traditions. Give people time to consider and adjust their mindset to the idea. Given time and patience I am confident people will discover this idea fulfilling and discover the change is well worth the effort.
“Never stop learning and adapting. Since the world is changing perhaps you should consider changing too.” – David Niven, Ph.D.