festive gift box

Simple gift giving: 8 ideas to reduce your Christmas stress

So Christmas is just around the corner. I don’t know about you, but my calendar is looking full and my to-do list is getting longer. We have a full two months ahead of us. Christmas, and all of the jazz that surrounds that, plus renting our house out and moving around all of January. So now that Miss 4’s birthday party is done and dusted I’m about to dive into the pre-Christmas/moving out jobs. Number 1 on the list is Christmas presents. By December the 1st I’m aiming to have a big tick next to this job!

But every year it feels like it gets harder. We have a big extended family and there are always new nieces and nephews to lavish on. Plus the usual difficulties around buying for other people. What do they really want? Do they have that already? Did I buy that two Christmases ago? It can feel a little overwhelming. 

My previous Christmas giving has been a mixture of last minute rush to trying to give everyone handmade gifts! Anything but simple. This time of the year can be stressful and busy so I reckon we can figure out a simpler way to give thoughtfully to our loved ones.

I’ve put together a few tips you could pick and choose from to try and ease the stress or Christmas shopping AND make it more thoughtful and meaningful.

Make a list of people you are buying for and stick to it.

Are you a generous giver by nature? I absolutely love giving to people, whether it be things they need or want or offering my time. But if you can’t get a handle on that list and simply don’t have the time to thoughtfully give to everyone, maybe it’s time to cut your list in half! Personally we tend to stick to family for gift giving with the odd exception. And here’s the most important bit about this – let go of any guilt if you are given something and don’t have something to give in return!

Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.

My general rule for gift giving for our kiddo’s at birthdays or Christmas is four gifts. Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. And let’s be honest, by the time they are given other presents, even four seems excessive.

Shop now!

If you can afford to – don’t keep putting off your Christmas shopping until the best sale arrives. Firstly, there may not ever be a sale on the item/s you are wanting, and secondly, this just delays the inevitable (spending money) and stops you achieving that tick on your list!

Buy someone an experience.

I love to buy experiential gifts. Movie tickets, zoo passes, pamper vouchers, aquatic center passes – basically any fun experience that I can help people have. It’s simple and easy to arrange and can usually be done online.

Speaking of that… Shop Online!

I suck at this one, I love to look and touch the stuff i’m going to spend hard earned cash on! But I know that i’d get a lot done faster if i did implement it! No waiting in ques or fighting for car parks.

Family Facebook page

If you have a large extended family that you do Christmas day and present giving with then start a family facebook page to help you organise it. This way you can decide how you will give (ie. names in a hat, or one family buys for another family) AND you can pop up suggestions for things you might want or need.

Homemade simplicity

If you do have time and creative nuance to make some gifts, try sticking to one thing you can make for everyone. Sugar scrubs for the ladies and homemade shaving cream for the men? If you are baking for Christmas why not double the batch? One of my favorite gifts to give is a Panforte. I’ve tried quite a few over the years and this one with a hint of chilli is definitely my favorite!

Forgo the little gifts for a family day out

In a similar theme to experiential gifts… one year our extended family decided not to do gifts but to all put in a certain amount of money for a family day out. We went to trampoline world, bumper boats and pizza. Everyone had a great time and no one had to run around scrambling for last minute gifts. Too easy!

I hope you found a new idea in there that you can implement this year to make your Christmas shopping a little more simple and relaxing.

If you are truly feeling overwhelmed and too busy then you might be interested in my top tips for banishing busy available here.