Clutter-free at Christmas

283 words, 3 minutes to read.

I’ve had The Talk with most of my friends and relatives.

Consequently, I receive very few gifts at Christmas. That makes me happy, knowing my loved ones are not wasting their money on stuff I don’t need.

But there’s always that one relative who insists on giving you gifts. How can you deal with them? They insist that Christmas ‘just wouldn’t be right’ without presents under the tree.

Here are some strategies you can take.

1. Suggest a consumable gift.

Hint that you’d love some chocolates. A nice bottle of wine. Some expensive fresh fruit or lovely locally-produced cheeses. Let them know than any of these options would be appreciated far more than socks, jocks or yet more hand cream!

2. Tickets to events can be a great idea.

Ask for tickets to an upcoming concert you’d enjoy. Or maybe suggest a nice meal out at a favourite restaurant with them paying for the meal.

3. Give to someone – or something – else.

Charities such as Oxfam give to those who are truly in need. It’s a great option for those who want to be generous.

4. Accept the inevitable and re-gift what they give you.

Homeless shelters and food banks are pleased to receive unwanted toiletries, clothing and other items. Ring before you drop them off, to ensure that the right item is going to the right place.

5. Sell the item, and use the proceeds for something useful.

If re-gifting makes you feel guilty, spend the money on a worthwhile charity, and convert an unwanted gift into much-needed assistance. I find that giving to worthwhile charities always eases any guilt I have!

Is it too early to wish everyone Merry Christmas yet? 🙂

clutter-free at Christmas

2 thoughts on “Clutter-free at Christmas

  1. Most of my friends and family know not to buy me presents anymore, but there are still some who insist on giving me something. (My sister, for example, is very gift oriented and would get upset if I didn’t get her anything or wouldn’t let her buy me anything). So I always ask for either something useful that I need (and was already thinking of buying myself) or consumables like food. Most of my family, though, have given up and just give me money, which is better than stuff but I still don’t like taking their cash now I’m an adult and have enough money of my own. It’s really hard for some people to break with tradition – they think they have to give gifts just because that’s what our society has always done. It’s quite frustrating.

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    • It really is hard for people to break with tradition. I find it helps to remember that Christmas, traditionally speaking, is about generosity and family, not about consumerism. Gifts don’t have to be a part of it if we don’t want them to be.

      I have a family member who gives me gifts every year that I don’t need, despite my asking her not to. I just re-gift them. Some battles are not worth fighting, not if it is going to cause unhappiness or arguments in the holiday season. If you have to deal with a situation like mine, just accept the gift, and move it on once it has been given. Don’t let Christmas become difficult for the sake of differing ideas.

      Best wishes 🙂

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