(ABOVE: Some of our reusable holiday gift bags.)
When I followed the Konmari Method and decluttered my home, a tough category for me was gifts. I persevered, have no regrets, and embraced what I learned. Since then, I think deeply about what I am giving to others, because I’d hate for them to feel guilty if they got rid of something I gave!
Here are some ideas I have for holiday gift giving:
- Ask what they want. Contrary to what advertising might make you think, it’s not rude to ask someone what they’d like. It’s smart. Surprise gift successes are rare, instead if you buy something someone wants, it’s likely it sparks joy for them. Likely it will end up used and kept. I know, crazy!
- Be there. Us mothers want to see you and know you are happy and well. The fact that you had to dress up and drive over is enough for us. Talk, sit and drink tea, watch a movie, go for a walk, it’s just about being together. If you promise you’ll consistently come again in a card, it’s a mother’s dream. Then DO it.
- Experiences. When I was moving to Nashville, TN years ago, my family lived in an RV until we could find the right house. My sister gave us an annual pass to the local zoo. That was one of the best gifts we have ever received. I was a mom of two very young boys living in an RV! We had very limited space. The zoo, however, was vast and we went early and often. Ask if someone would like a membership to a zoo or museum. Often these gifts are appreciated the whole year.
- Try consumables. Stuff adds up, and when we receive items we really don’t want, well, it can easily become clutter. This is why I found gifting consumables works great when I can’t ask what people want! When I was a florist, we had beautiful holiday arrangements that brought nature and cheer into every home we could! Flowers are a thoughtful, uplifting option. Or, healthy snacks are great as gifts and give many busy mothers a place to send hungry family members. What mom wouldn’t appreciate not having to prepare a snack?
- Utilize cash. Again, not thoughtless! You are saving this person the burden of stashing away something they may not want. Cash works everywhere for everyone every time.
Remember, we give gifts to show we are thinking of someone. We may not get it right all the time, but we try because we want to show our thankfulness for that person in our life. When you offer your gift and it’s received, the care is shown and appreciated. If it sparks joy is ultimately for the recipient to decide.
Have a wonderful holiday season!