Tuesday, December 4, 2018

simplifying the holidays | guest post for room to breathe

Earlier this week, I wrote a guest blog post for my friend Indi at Room to Breathe Home Organizing - speaking about gift giving and consumption this time of year. When you consciously choose to live small, the influx of new stuff around the holidays can be difficult to deal with. But also - the flip side of this - that so many of our family and friends have so much already, and the idea of spending SO much money on more things that none of us needs, is emotionally draining (for both sides) and unnecessary.


I've shared many times abou my love for New Dream and their Simplifying the Holidays Guide - It's FULL of brilliant ideas for alternative, meaningful, and zero-waste gifts ideas, refocusing on presence over presents.

There are, of course, people in our lives that we want to do something special for, and cutting out gifts cold-turkey is probably not the way to go. This guide offers a million unique and deeply meaningful ideas to share with the ones we love most, but perhaps most importantly, this shift will leave you feeling more engaged, joyful, and increase everyone's personal fulfillment during this holiday season.

A few of my favorite alternative gift guide ideas:
  • Give away the last great book you bought and enjoyed to someone with similar taste.
  • Make and package up homemade green cleaning products.
  • Put together a booklet of cherished family recipes.
  • Display a special heirloom - frame a recipe of your grandmothers in her handwriting, find a unique display box for a handmade piece of lace or knitting, or turn a pair of baby booties or a baby rattle into a tree ornament.
  • Food! Make freezer meals, soup, bread, homemade granola bars, or provide gift certificates for groceries or dinner out as a family. 
  • Re-gift a cookbook you no longer use. Highlight or flag a few great recipes.
  • Have family home videos converted to DVD, or make a slideshow of old family photographs.
  • Purchase gift cards/ credit towards car or bike share programs or ride share apps
  • Vow to send a letter or postcard each month for the entire year to friend or family member in a different city (this is especially great for kids and grandparents!)
  • Buy a gift card to an organization like canada helps or kiva and let the recipient decide where to best allocate charitable funds.
Check out more ideas on Room to Breathe's blog post (and get in touch if you are in Calgary or Edmonton and you could use a a little help getting your external space to echo the calm simplicity that your internal space is craving...) OR download the Simplifying the Holiday Guide HERE.

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