005 – The “silly” season

Without sounding a little grinchy, if something is a “stocking stuffer” is it really going to add value to someone or just clutter their life? “Stocking stuffer” does not equal expression of love. #dailypondering

I used to believe it was called the silly season because of the increase in festivities, alcohol consumption and poor decisions. I now see this season as an “acceptable” time to spend recklessly, consume uncontrollably and disregard any concern for waste. As I see car parks and shopping centres bursting with Aussies finding last-minute gifts, I can’t help but wonder why we still constantly feel the need to consume.

Of course there are things that would genuinely add immense value to someone’s life so I am not saying gifts are never ok. However, if I find myself thinking “Gee, I don’t really know this person well enough to know what would add value to their life” then this may in fact be a person that I needn’t worry about giving a gift to.

So, instead of mindlessly cluttering someone else’s life with a kind gesture (in the form of a tea towel) I’ve come up with a few alternatives that will still feel like an expression of love, but will help reduce spending, consumption and waste.

5 gifts you could give that aren’t purposeless clutter.

  1. An Experience
    This could come in the form of a movie ticket, first aid course or taking someone out for a meal. An experience allows someone to grow and bonus if it’s an experience you can share. My best friend took me trampolining for Christmas and it was a perfect way to catch up and bounce off some anticipated Christmas-kilos.
  2. Blood
    Although not something you can give to someone specific, it is an invaluable gift that not only produces zero clutter, it also provides the greatest gift of all.. life.
  3. Your Time
    Gifting your time can take shape in an experience with someone you care about, volunteering your time to charity or simply giving your whole and undivided attention to your family at Christmas lunch. No phones, no distractions, just your time. In return, you receive the gift of someone else’s valuable time.
  4. A Consumable
    While sometimes an empty choice, a consumable can actually be a very thoughtful meaningful gift. Got a vegan/gluten-free/allergic to everything relative? Make them something they can eat! And if you still feel you absolutely must wrap something up to give someone, a consumable won’t clutter someone’s life (for long).
  5. A Donation
    If you wish, you could donate money to one of your favourite organisations. But, if you’re strapped for cash, you could go through your own belongings and donate clothing, canned foods or old toys to any number of local organisations. This always gives me the reality check I need to remind myself I don’t actually need anything.

 

Knowing the people around you is key to proper gift giving. Try to avoid the clever marketing and luring sales to get that rush of buying. The feeling you get from kick-ass, authentic, waste free gifts is way better than that.

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