Mar(k): Travel, Hiking, and "Doing Good"

musings on our life of travel and volunteering

All I want for Christmas is…. Less Stuff

with 2 comments

santaThe holidays are rapidly approaching, and people all around seem to be getting increasingly frazzled.  Parties to go to, groceries to buy, presents to buy.  It is all very interesting to watch, but I can honestly say that I am glad that I am not getting hooked into all the hustle and bustle this holiday season.   I had declared 2014 to be my “Year of Minimalism”, which can mean lots of different things to different people.  For me, it was about buying less, needing less, and simplifying our life at home.  I have enjoyed it, and knowing I had the whole year to work at it, I have chipped away.  But I still have a long way to go, so I am looking forward to 2015 to being my “2nd Year of Minimalism”.  I can see a trend here.   One I like very much.  In fact, I might even start blogging a bit more about living with less in the New Year.  Stay tuned.

I really do love the holiday season.  It is a great time to catch up with friends and family, and is also a time of reflection, as we look back on a year well lived, and give thanks for our health, relationships, and lifestyle.  I also enjoy gift giving (and receiving!), when it is done with intention (ie: not out of obligation).  But for me, one of the best gifts we can give others is our time;  time to spend with friends and family, enjoying each others company, catching up on recent events, and generally having a laugh.   That is the best gift of all.   But here are a few more suggestions on ways we can reduce our impact on Mother Earth, while still enjoying the festive season:

1.  Spend time with people, rather than money.  Put relationships ahead of the latest gadget.  Go for a walk with a loved one, have a picnic, just hang out.  Time is precious, and this is a very GIVING gift.

2.  Instead of buying THINGS, consider buying EXPERIENCES.   Follow the motto “it is better to DO, than to HAVE”.  Look for experiences for that special someone – movie tickets, theatre tickets, sporting events, spa treatments, travel vouchers.  It reduces STUFF, but still enables people to enjoy that experience (courtesy of you!)

2.  If you are going to buy a present, consider a gift certificate.    Less wrapping involved, so less waste.  Over the years, I am sure we all have had those gifts that just never get used / worn / consumed – not because they aren’t nice, or aren’t appreciated.  They just aren’t US.  So take away the guessing game when buying for others, and be guaranteed the person will end up with what they want.

3.  Consider donating to a worthy cause in the name of the person who is being “gifted”.  There are so many fantastic organisations out there e.g. Oxfam Unwrapped.  Pick a charity close to the person’s heart, or related to their interests.

4.  If you have already bought the perfect gift for that special someone, consider recycled wrapping paper.  This year, for the (few) gifts I AM giving, I am using wrapping paper that has already had one life – and is now having its second incarnation!   I usually keep wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, etc… and can get creative in giving them a second life.

Before you go, if you want a few more ideas on minimising Christmas indulgences, check out this post.  There are some additional links at the bottom of that post that you may also find good to read.

Happy holidays, everyone!



2 Responses

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  1. Great and very timely blog Mar!! Thanks as always for your generous perspective..very inspiring!


    December 18, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    • Thanks Ron! Wishing you and your family a joyous holiday season!


      December 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm

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