Giving Gifts that Keep on Giving

Welcome to the December edition of the Simply Living Blog CarnivalGift Giving cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children and Laura at Authentic Parenting. This month, we write about taking the stress out of gift giving.

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In the spirit of giving, it can be easy for well-meaning relatives to go a little (or a lot) overboard with gifts. While the love and thought behind gift giving is generally welcome, the mountians of stuff can easily become overwhelming. If you are trying to convince relatives to do something different, understand that this is often a shift in mentality. While some of your loved ones may immediately embrace a simpler style, others may need time. If you are looking at giving gifts to others, consider the long-term aspects of those gifts.
Consumables – Consumable products are often a great idea for people who are still looking to physically hand over a gift. The giver gets something to wrap up and hand over, and the receiver won’t have the item lingering for years to come. Assumming the consumables are actually something that will be used, they will be gone soon and relieve you from having to purchase that item for a while. Special food, with considerations of allergies or lifestyle, are great for those neighbor, co-worker, teacher, or student gifts. Will your children be receiving items from relatives? If they ask for a list, consider telling them about art supplies your children like to use.
Experiences – Experiences make fantastic gifts and the memories from them will be much longer lasting. These can be one time events, such as tickets to a show, or memberships to museums, science centers, or zoos which will last a family an entire year. Experience gifts don’t have to cost a lot of money. If you are on a budget and want to give an experience gift, consider doing something with the special person in your life – bake favorite cookies, go on a special hike, or even camp out on the living room floor. Take some photos to help remember the special time. You could even fill a photo book of your special times together throughout the year.
Spread it Out – Similar to memberships which can be enjoyed throughout the year, other great gifts are magazine subscriptions to favorite publications. The magazines can be enjoyed as they come and then passed on for others to enjoy, limiting the clutter in the home. You could also set up a special date night or other get together each month. Some prior planning with the special days written down make a great gift.
Heartfelt – A key aspect of gift giving when I was growing up was to really think about what the recipient might like. Rather than grabbing gift cards or filling up with stuff, items given were generally handmade, and much thought was put into what the person might need or truly want. One gift out of a hundred will not be remembered, whether handmade or store bought. Make it something memorable.
Family Gifts – Consider giving a family gift rather than several individual gifts. Nicer board games (Rio Grande, Days of Wonder, Z-Man Games, etc.) may cost more, but giving fewer gifts will save you money. Plus, the game will encourage family time and connection every time it is played.
Gift giving should be about showing someone you care. Plan ahead, plan for your budget, and get creative to keep yourself from stressing out about what should be a nice gesture.

photo credit: stevendepolo via photopin cc

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Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children and Laura at Authentic Parenting. Read about how others are simplifying gift giving. Check back to see what we have in store for 2014!

  • Keeping Gifts Simple – JW at True Confessions of a Real Mommy shares a few simple ways to limit gift giving and keep your holiday about the thought over the thing..
  • The Mindful Holiday Giving Guide – How many times have you carefully chosen a present for someone and find you missed the mark? Zoie at TouchstoneZ identifies key ways to give mindful holiday gifts that will be truly appreciated.
  • Giving Gifts that Keep Giving – At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy shares ideas to help gift givers think outside the (gift) box with gifts that keep on giving.
  • Greening the Giving Spirit - Momma Giraffe at Little Green Giraffe writes more eco-friendly Christmas wish-list for her family this year – passing on plastic and gift wrap and saying yes to memories, moments and experience.
  • No Toys? : Giving Our Children Gifts that Make Memories – This year, Jacquie at My Blessings Homeschool and her husband decided to do things a little differently with gifts that will make lasting memories instead of the toys that will be lost, broken or forgotten.
  • Quick and Easy DIY Gift: Flower Petal Sugar – At Authentic Parenting, Laura whips up a quick and easy last minute gift.

Do you have traditions or methods revolving around simplifying gifts? Do you have a great tutorial on how to make something? We want to hear about it! Just link up your new and old posts before January 16, 2014.

 



3 thoughts on “Giving Gifts that Keep on Giving

  1. I always encourage experience gifts from our loving family, it is so nice to have memberships the rest of the year! And movie passes are always well received by my family, we all love a night out!

  2. These are great guidelines. I agree that you don’t have to spend much money to make it a thoughtful present. And I’m definitely on board with art supplies or experience gifts! With a large family, the stuff piles up quickly but a museum pass for us is a bargain that gets a lot of use.

  3. I love your word choice to describe the different forms gifts can take – consumables, experiences, spread it out, heartfelt, and family gifts. I think you really capture some great creative ideas here. What I appreciate most is that you acknowledged there are people who like to give gifts with a more physical presence. As great as I think movie pass and memberships are… So I think your ideas give a great range of ideas for all different situations and personalities. Thank you for that!