Ideas for alternative gift-giving this Christmas

With only three more Mondays and 20 more sleeps until Christmas, I thought I would share some thoughts on enjoying the lead up to Christmas, as well as the day itself. Christmas is a stressful time for so many people, which is so often caused by the pressures and expectation of others. Largely around gift giving. And while lots of bloggers are writing about what to buy people for Christmas, I thought I would do something a little different.

The secret to a relaxed festive holiday can be summarised in one way. Keep. It. Simple. But what does that mean?

With all the commercial bombardment about ‘this amazing item that mum WILL LOVE, or the present that you absolutely MUST BUY for your baby sister’, it can be hard to enjoy the festivities and so easy to lose the sight of the things that actually matter.

There are so many ideas for reducing stress and (financial) pressure around buying presents. While I am all for gift giving, there are lots of options for ‘alternative’ less commercial presents. Not only are these options kind on your pocket, they are also kind on the environment. Christmas is a time of huge amounts of waste, with unwanted presents that eventually make it to land fill.

Pull names out of a hat, one name per person. Each person must buy a present for person they drew out of the hat. This reduces the stress of buying for multiple people and allows you to get more creative by focusing on one person. You can also set budgets to keep it even between everyone.

My personal favourite is to have a ‘thrifted Christmas’. I actually love this so much. My whole family is into op-shopping (80 year old grandparents included) so it’s a pretty easy option for us, but if you aren’t into op-shopping what better time to start than with a Christmas mission. My family has done this a few times and it is always so much fun. You will be astonished by what people find and what you get for Christmas.

Don’t do any presents and donate to charity. There are endless charities that need support at Christmas, and anytime of the year for that matter. Supporting you local mission is always a good place to start.

Buy local, handmade presents. There are sooo many amazing people making their wears by hand and selling locally. Buying directly from the people who make the goods, not only supports the local economy but it will also make their Christmas. Had along to your local market, ask a friend, or jump online and search for products made locally.

Get create and have a ‘hand-made Christmas’. While this is likely to be a challenge for many, you may also find some hidden talents. Bonus points if its something hand-made from second-hand materials!

The above ideas are just some of the many options for reducing the stress of present buying at Christmas, as well as providing some refuge from commercialism and reducing your carbon footprint. I challenge you to try something a little different this Christmas.

And now I’m off to watch a Christmas movie to help get me in the spirit… it’s a tough choice, The Grinch or Love Actually?

P.S. Would love to hear your thoughts on this and if you have any other ideas, please share!!

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