Creative Alternatives to Gift-Giving

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‘Tis the holiday season . . . when we buy more stuff when we’re trying to get rid of the stuff we already have! And often, as we get older, we ask the question, “Where did all this stuff come from?”

Creative Alternatives to Gift-Giving

For those who are considering a major downsize or transition into assisted living, the holidays are a good time to start polling the family to find out if there is interest in some of the items that will need a new home. Knowing this in advance may help make things easier when plans are officially put in motion. But more than that, how do you discourage the idea of more coming in when you’re preparing to move it out?

As you prepare for the holidays and the idea of adding more stuff overwhelms you – consider these ideas:

  • Exchange gifts of experiences instead of physical presents. Experiences don’t have to be expensive vacations, but can include fun, local activities, such as a day mining for gems in the foothills of North Carolina or a day trip to Grandfather Mountain. And who wouldn’t love a trip to the spa?
  • Instead of buying for everyone on the list, draw names. One gift is far more manageable than a stack of presents.
  • Donate the money you’d spend on gifts in honor of your loved ones to a charity/charities they support.
  • Adopt another family for Christmas. Instead of wrapping gifts you don’t need, wrap gifts for someone who really needs some extra support this time of year.
  • Volunteer as a family, and together, recognize your blessings as you bless others.
  • Wrap up gifts of time. Make a promise to invest time with your loved ones instead of spending money on one another.
  • Pass down an old family recipe to the next generation, explaining the history and significance of it.
  • Invest in and give the gift of heritage; consider an extra splurge and invest in DNA kits for everyone in the family! It’s a fun way to learn about your genetic makeup!

There are a number of ways to creatively celebrate the holidays without accumulating more stuff you will have to find a place for later.