How to tell them you don’t want Christmas gifts
Hi there beautiful soul
I’m so glad, you stumbled upon my blog, since we both are looking for news ways to reduce our consumption to save Mama Earth. It is crazy when you think about it, that every year around Christmas we tend to produce enormous amounts of waste. When I receive a present from family or friends, it rarely brings me joy. Seriously it doesn’t make any sense. Am I the only one, who feels that way? Am I crazy? Maybe.
After watching the movie “Minimalism. A documentary about the important things” one year ago, I decided that I wanted to change my way of life completely and start developing new and healthy habits. But it wasn’t that easy. Inspired by what we saw, my husband and I started cleaning everything out, we didn’t need anymore. The first couple of days were so overwhelming. Our basement seemed like it was Mary Poppins’ handbag. Loads and loads of old clothes, clutter and memorabilia we didn’t need anymore and kept for the sole purpose of keeping it. After a couple of cleanouts we realized that we didn’t need to live in a huge space and sized down from a 4.5 room apartment to a 2 room apartment. We sold a bunch of things, gave everything away to charity shops or threw it away, if it was broken or just trash. While transitioning from a very consumption oriented to a more minimalist lifestyle, we realized what really did matter in our lives, where our passions were and how we wanted to change as a person. We still are not where we want to be, but realizing that the process was the way and not the destination, helped a lot to stay on track.
Now since Christmas is around the corner, I thought it might be helpful to some of you lovely souls out there, to share how I’m prepping for a sustainable Christmastime. Giving and receiving presents was always a huge thing in my family. Last year we decided as a family not to give each other presents anymore and rather make a donation towards a charity. But there are of course other ways.
Why don’t you give your loved ones some of your time and share an experience with them. There are numerous things you can do together. Go on a roadtrip together, visit a new city for a day, have an epic movie night, cook a lovely dinner together, have a picknick in the snow, etc. Nowadays someone’s time has so much more value than those bits and bobs we receive as Christmas presents. Here are some more ideas:
- visit a museum
- go on a hike
- go to a restaurant (they always wanted to go to, but never had the time or funds to do so)
- go ice skating
- explore the nature for wild herbs and cook a meal out of it in the wood
- a night in nature watching the stars
- have brunch on a boat
- go geocaching together
- have an icecream/pizza/taco/waffle- (or any other) party
2. Create something beautiful
I challenge you to take a walk through the forest and collect what catches your eyes. Take it home and create a beautiful candle centerpiece for someone you love. There are so many ideas on Pinterest, if you have absolutely no idea, what you could do. Here’s a board I created if you need a couple of inspirational pictures. When Christmas is over and the candle is burnt, they can compost the pinecones, and whatever else you used from Mama Earth to create your present.
3. Try alternatives to old traditions
My family was always big on giving presents, but there was a turning point where we all realized, we had run out of ideas, what we could buy for each other. If your family still wants to give something, make a rule how much you can spend on a gift. There are other ways, we all know to limit your expenses, like Secret Santa or the White Elephant. While these games can be fun and surprising, you will always be left with random things, you have no use for. I find it so much more fun to receive something to munch on, like homemade cookies, jam, vanilla sugar, a bottle of chili oil etc. Once again, Pinterest is you best friend, if you have no clue, what you could possible prepare to give away at home.
These are just a couple of ideas to help you stay on track, during Christmas, but there are so many more out there if you search the Internet. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Chanukka or Kwanzaa with whomever you are celebrating. I’m sending you loads of love all the way from the mountains of Switzerland.