25 days from now, we will be huddled around the Tree, waiting to open presents.
But if you’re anything like me, your anxiety is building! Why?
Because you may receive gifts that fall into the "Don’t need this,” "Don’t want this,” or “Don’t like this” categories. I'm not ungrateful, I am eternally thankful, but I just don’t know what to do with stuff that brings overwhelm and guilt for not liking it.
I know it's not just me.
The other day, I was talking to my girlfriend about gifts she receives from family. First off, she flys to Cali for the holidays, so whatever she gets as a gift, must fit in her luggage.
But year after year, her family members gift her bottles of wine she can't take on a plane, a necklace that is not her style, or other knick-knacks doomed to a drawer. A classic example of money wasted.
So what’ do you do!?
It's so simple, right? But Also SOOOOOO MUCH SCARIER
Don't say, "Please stop giving me gifts, because it's no use to me and a waste of your money." Because A) karma is real B) because just don't.
Do express your feelings in a loving, yet firm way.
How? Here are some tips to have a Clutter-Free Christmas!
make a list & share it.
It’s okay to ask for things you need, or you want.
I don’t know about you, but growing up I was meant to think you shouldn’t ask for anything, and you should keep everything. But this never served me.
Instead, I felt guilty about not wanting something. Or disappointed at the fact that my family doesn't know how to read minds. (it would make life so much easier.)
Suggest a gift exchange.
My family is big. I’m the youngest of five children, both my sisters have kids, both my brothers including myself have significant others. My wallet is in pain at the thought of how much money I could spend!
So a long time ago we decided to instate a Xmas exchange. Hooray! We used to pick names out of a hat, but today we use the website Elfster.com.
Invite all participating members via email, set a cash limit, and Elfster will pair accordingly. If you don’t want to get your boyfriend, you can set rules to prevent this from happening.happening.
Even more amazing, everyone can include a wish list. It easily allows you to link gifts from whatever store on the internet, yes even Amazon! We would list three to five items on our wish list, leaving us with a bit of a suspense and zero unwanted gifts.
Note, we excluded children because kids opening presents is hilarious!
Say you don't want any gifts.
ell everyone you are trying to reduce clutter in your life and would prefer to be out in the world. Ask for a year worth of moving passes. Or tickets to Hamilton. Or have them contribute to a trip you’re going to take. Whatever experience you want!
This is common, especially for weddings, so why can't it work for a holiday too?
Recommend to Cancel All Gifts.
No, I’m not the Grinch, but instead of buying gifts, take a family excursion.
There are many excellent group activities to choose from these days! (Thanks, Internet!) Escape Rooms, Mini Golf, Wine / Beer Tastings, volunteering, Camping, Scavenger hunts, playing board or video games, outdoor sports, or have a picnic in a park.Create memories and have someone document them. Print those pictures, frame them and gift at a birthday. If you are looking for a discount, try Groupon, it’s amazing what you can find. Go to Groupon > Look under Things To Do, Voilà!
Donate your gifts.
Fundraising is probably my favorite new feature on Facebook.
The gift of giving to a charity dear to your heart or even your families heart. It’s easy to set up and can make a huge impact. Share the beauty of gifting to people who need it, who wouldn't want to donate to that!?
Decluttering isn't easy. But changing habits to reduce the clutter in your home will help tremendously. So, if you don't do use any of the tips above, but you do tell your family/friends what gifts are actually on your Christmas list, it's one step closer to reducing clutter.
If you did try the tips above, OR if you have any tips of your own, please share them below! I would love to hear them.
Please note, throughout this blog post I have used affiliate links. This means I may receive a commission if you click on and purchase, but this does not affect the price you pay.