Now that we are halfway through November, most of us are turning our attention toward Christmas in earnest.
Uppermost in our minds is gift-giving. The problem is that we all have more “stuff” than we really need. Instead of adding to the overwhelming amount of clutter that friends and loved ones likely have, consider the following tips for a more clutter-free Christmas:
1. Give gifts they want.
Don’t hesitate to ask for ideas. There is a part of us that thinks we should know these people well enough to give gifts they will enjoy and appreciate without our having to ask. Nevertheless, try getting a “wish list” with details that include colors, sizes and brand preferences as appropriate. Then you can be sure that the gift you give is “just what I wanted!”
2. Give green — as in money.
As the economy continues to struggle, so do many of those we love. Cold hard cash can be dressed up in a number of ways to make it more fun, including:
• Tuck the money into a balloon. Be inventive about how your gift recipient can get the cash (Do they have to sit on the balloon to pop it? Use a pin?)
• Create a treasure map for a scavenger hunt. Wrapped clues can be hidden all around the house to lead the receiver to his final destination (which could be right back under the tree).
• Instead of filling a jar with ingredients for cookies, fill it with “dough.”
3. Give “green.”
In this case we are not talking about money, but rather eco-friendly gifts. Fill a good quality reusable shopping bag with goodies; perhaps include a grocery gift card as well. Locally here in Sequim, McComb Gardens is offering wreath-making classes Nov.20-Dec.21. Call Jane Stewart at 681-2827 for details.
4. Give time.
Consider giving a young couple a night out with a gift certificate to a local restaurant while you watch the children. Offer to cook dinner with someone who is alone. Those who are tech-savvy might give an hour or so of their time as a gift to help friends and relatives who struggle with their electronic devices. An elderly person might enjoy having help decorating — and Un-decorating — for the holidays.
5. Give local.
Most of us aren’t fully appreciative of the treasures right here in Sequim. Consider giving gift certificates to some the downtown area specialty stores. How about season tickets to area concerts or plays? There also are a number of spas and salons that offer pampering services — and it is all right here.
Gift-giving does not have to create clutter. But no matter what gifts you give this season the most important point is to give things that will be appreciated and used.
Brenda Spandrio, The Declutter Lady, is an organizing and productivity consultant. Reach her at 360-504-2520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.