#1 - Limit the number of gifts I give. There are a handful of gifts I give out of habit - not because I really want to. I'm letting go of these in favor of offering my heartfelt well-wishes. I'm also letting GO of the associated guilt.
#2 - Give donations. I started this for b-day gifts last year and felt really good about it! I like to give to Heifer International. Instead of giving my new niece a bunch of plastic toys, I'm giving a donation to her college fund.
#3 - Give experiences. I really like this one because it can fit any budget, inspires creativity and is what people want most from us - our time. Last year I gave the DH (dear hubby) gift certificates for a walk in the woods, a homemade treat, etc. He loved them!
#4 - Give homemade gifts that people will really like. For example, I made homemade blueberry jam this year and a few folks will be seeing it for Xmas.
#5 - When I do want to purchase something special (and I'm cutting back on this with the items above), I try to give from people I know or artists I can connect with. Examples:
-Chocolates from two local chocolate stores. I've met the owners and the money stays local.
-Handmade items direct from artists. Here are some of my favorite options:
- Glass hearts and other items from Enchanted Moon Studios. Thank you, Cindy, for following your passion!
- Gorgeous, one-of-a-kind jewelry from Junque Revival. I have a necklace from Jes and it's one of my absolute favorites.
- Mixed media prints from Kelly Rae.
#6 - Give TEA!
#7 - Buying absolutely no wrapping materials - zip, nada, nothing, zero, zilch! Recycling existing materials in creative ways to wrap fabulous presents. (I even have some wrapping I saved from pretty gifts last year!)
If you have any suggestions to offer, I'd love to hear them!