Giving gifts during the holidays is a wonderful way to express love to family and friends. But how do you make sure everyone gets what they want, without stressing at the last minute?
Write gift ideas down
Why try to keep a mental list of gift ideas when you can write them down? Save yourself the brainpower and jot presents down as you think of them throughout the year.
Keep the list in one place, and when it comes time to shop, you’ll know exactly what to get.
Check things off the list as you purchase them, so you don’t double-buy something because you forgot you got it months ago!
It’s easy to go overboard during the holidays and buy too much stuff, which creates waste and unnecessary clutter—and not just for you, but for gift recipients! Before you shop, look around at what you already have. If you got a great book for your birthday that you know your sister would love to read, re-gift it! Things don’t need to be new to be great gifts.
Encourage others to re-gift, too. Let your friends and family know that you would treasure used items just as much as brand new ones. Lead by example, and normalize re-gifting as a great way to cut down on waste and get items to the right person.
Encourage experiences rather than things
Another way to reduce holiday clutter is to gift experiences instead of physical things. Does your niece love horses? Instead of buying her a stuffed toy horse, how about gifting her a horse-riding lesson?
Cooking classes, restaurant gift cards, and tickets to events are just a few options for gifting experiences. Think outside the (gift)box, and give friends and family fun memories this year.
Have you ever run to Bath & Body Works at the last minute to grab lotion or shower gel for an aunt or in-law because you had no clue what else to get them? Many of our clients have more than their share of unopened hand soaps and moisturizers! If you’re not sure what someone wants, don’t grab something generic that will end up gathering dust in the cabinet. It is more than fine to send money in lieu of a present.
This is particularly true for people who have specific hobbies that you’re not familiar with. If you’re shopping for someone who paints, but can’t tell acrylics from watercolor, don’t guess! Give cash, or a gift card for a store that supplies someone’s specific hobby. I guarantee the recipient will appreciate a Michael’s gift card more than paints they can’t use or don’t like.
I hope these tips help de-stress giving gifts this year! Comment below with your favorite way to reduce holiday clutter.
Great tips! I like to keep a list all year long as I notice things. I will only give gift cards if I am sure they will not use them rather than lose them. I have also donated by request to a favorite charity.
Donating to a charity in someone’s name is a great idea, Jonda!
I have two college students; Both sent me a wish list through Amazon, which gave me ideas. My husband doesn’t want gifts this year; he would like donations in his name to local food banks. That has eased my frustration this year a great deal.
Absolutely, Sabrina! It’s nice when you can mutually decide to take gifts off the table.
With all the craziness this year, I’ve really been thinking hard how to give gifts that won’t clutter up anyone’s space and which will still feel personal and thoughtful. I heard some parents talking about giving their children a membership to Costco and I thought that was a terrific idea that I might copy!
That sounds like a super idea, Seana!
I love the give “experiences, not things” type of gifts. Our youngest daughter, Cassie, asked us to do just that when she was about 8 or 9. She didn’t want “stuff.” So from then on, it’s how we’ve always focused our gift-giving efforts. And it makes for many joy bonuses. You have the joy of receiving it, thinking about it, and then engaging with it…which often involves spending more time with your loved ones. Being that “time” is such a precious commodity, experiences are that much more meaningful.
You’re right on the money, Linda. Your daughter sounds like a smart cookie!
I love the way you positioned giving gifts of experiences not just as experiential gifts, but as a replacement for a tangible but less meaningful gift. “Does your niece love horses? Instead of buying her a stuffed toy horse, how about gifting her a horse-riding lesson?” really drives that home.
And I’ve found that the best way to keep from forgetting a gift idea during the course of the year is to put it on a separate, PRIVATE Amazon wish list. Most people know my public one, from which I get birthday gifts, but I have private ones for gifting to others, client research, blog research, etc., and it keeps everything really organized.
Thanks, Julie! Your private Amazon list is a super smart idea.
Sometimes a gift certificate can open up a whole new world to the recipient. For example, a gift certificate to Doordash might not just represent the seemingly impersonal, boring gift of groceries, but could introduce the whole concept that one’s life can be made easier with grocery delivery. It all depends on the stage of life, interests, and needs of the recipient.
Absolutely, Hazel! A gift card can be a great way to gift someone a new experience that they might not otherwise try.