Gift-giving during the holidays


If the holidays make you feel anxious, gift shopping will probably be one of the reasons why. However, you don’t need to abandon gift-giving this Christmas. But some awareness around our consumer behavior might be necessary to survive another holiday season.

Buying new stuff should always be about one thing. How can this product or service add value to my life? The same goes for gifts. Consuming is not a bad thing. We all make money and spend it on things we need. But a business that thrives on profit alone might create a false sense of urgency for their products, and it will create a lot of discontent in people. Good businesses make money, great businesses make a difference. Of course, you can feel guilty about the products you use. As not every business can be sustainable. So don’t try to be perfect, there is a balance between believing in your principles and acting on them.

There are some tips you can follow in order to cut down on your gifts.

  • There is magic in the holiday season. Whether you are celebrating it with Santa Claus or Sinterklaas, hold on to it.
  • Focus on traditions. Decorating your house, inviting family or friends, spending time as a family, … Traditions are important and will make sure your children will cherish these moments forever.
  • When other people are buying you gifts, there is no shame in setting expectations. Use a wishlist with the things you really want.
  • Set a budget for gifts. It will help to take away some of the stress.
  • You don’t need to buy gifts for everyone, use the game of Secret Santa. So you only need to buy 1 gift for 1 person!
  • Use the 4 gift rule. You buy something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.
  • Buy second-hand gifts!

How do you prepare your children for a holiday season with fewer gifts? Explain to them that too much stuff creates a lot of clutter. It will be harder to choose what toys they want to play with. It will be more work for cleaning up. And so on. Don’t tell them they are bad because they ask for stuff. But talk about what really makes them happy. The toys in their closet? Or actual playtime?

How do you explain to your family you don’t want too many gifts? Again, setting expectations will take away some of the stress. A gift is an attempt to add value to your life. So instead of saying no to it, try to say yes to the things that matter by setting those expectations. But always be grateful even with the gifts you don’t want. Gift-giving is also a way of spreading some love to family or friends.

#familytraditions #giftbuying #giftgiving #holidayseason #minimalism #santaclaus #secretsanta #sinterklaas

Learn more about Minimalist Christmas