Five Tips for a Jolly-Green Christmas

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BY Sophia Golovanevskaya

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, we’ve got some amazing gift-giving tips to help you save money, waste and clutter on any gift-giving occasion.

November 2017 has officially happened. This means we only have a few weeks left to source Christmas presents for friends and loved ones, and if you’re anything like me, you’re going to try and be as financially savvy as possible.

Gift-giving can be tricky, especially when you get stuck buying presents for extended family you hardly even know. I think it’s safe to assume that we all know the feeling of getting presents that we don’t want, and awkwardly holding on to them for a couple of months before we no longer feel bad about giving them away to charity (or re-gifting them…there’s no shame!).

There’s no reason why gift-giving can’t be enjoyable for both parties. Below, I’ve compiled a list of five convenient tips that may help you have the most clutter-free and waste-free Christmas/miscellaneous holiday season yet:

1. Ask your Gift-ee!

This is the most important tip I can give you in regards to reducing unwanted clutter and waste. Most of us have financial responsibilities/needs of some sort. Ask your family and friends if they need or want anything specific— maybe their kettle just broke, or their dog just chewed up their favourite copy of Lord of The Rings. Maybe you and a few others can chip in together to pay a certain loved one’s bill for them— it may not seem very festive, but trust me, paying an adults bill for them is probably one of the biggest gifts you’ll ever be able to give them.

2. Get Creative.

Never underestimate the power of a handmade gift. Personally, these are my favourite to receive, because it shows that someone has put in thought, planning and time into creating something just for you. If you don’t want to make anything, why not think about getting personalised cups/pillow cases/t-shirts/anything else professionally printed?

3. Get Creative x2.

‘Getting creative’ doesn’t always mean you have to make a gift from scratch— compiling gift baskets are one of my favourite things to do for presents. You can personalise them, and fill them with a variety of different things that remind you of that person or that you think they might like. Wicker baskets or cute boxes can be purchased from second hand or one-dollar shops, and can be re-used. What you fill the gift box with is up to you, but some of my personal favourites include: Lush bath bombs, creams or soaps (eco-friendly packaging), organic chocolates (plastic-wrap free), slippers or funny socks (everyone needs socks), cups/mugs, etc.

4. Gift Experiences Instead of Things.

The best way to reduce unwanted clutter and waste is to gift people with something other than material goods. This can include paying someone’s bills, but it can also include spa gift vouchers, concert tickets, dinner vouchers, or just an offer for a day out. I don’t know about you, but I’d be over the moon if someone gifted me with a fully planned day out— whether it be breakfast/lunch/dinner and a boat ride, or a fully-free hike, beach or picnic day. Don’t underestimate quality time— at the end of the day, holidays are for feeling loved and appreciated, and what better way to do that than to spend time with your loved one/s?

5. (Don’t) Get That Paper.

For those of you who dread wrapping presents every year, this is good news. For those who enjoy it, this is not totally bad news, either. Did you know that most wrapping paper contains thin slips of plastic, or toxic inks which are harmful to the environment? If you’re gifting physical goods, try and arrange them in baskets, boxes, or flower pots with some ribbon. If wrapping is definitely your thing, then why not try eco-friendly brown paper, newspapers or even fabric? Similarly to baskets and pots, fabrics can double up as gifts (i.e. scarfs or bandanas) or be easily repurposed for other things.

No matter what you’re celebrating, may your gift-giving be environmentally conscious, and your conduct jolly!

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