Are you up for a festive challenge? Let’s take a minimalist approach to the Holidays and veto the usual shopping day countdown.
Instead, we’ll tally up the number of declutter days we have left until Christmas. How fun is that?
No, really. How fun?
Starting today, November 5, we have 50 days before Santa hops aboard his sleigh and sets about cluttering up your chimney.
I’m sure his intentions are solid, but let’s be honest, unless it’s a slab of organic vegan chocolate, you don’t need more stuff. And neither do your friends or family or co-workers.
Chances are, you already know this, but for whatever reason you still feel compelled to buy into the Holiday tradition of exchanging gifts. Because, well, it’s the Holidays and that’s what people do.
Like I said, I’m all for it if it’s chocolate (can’t have too much chocolate), but unfortunately most people don’t deem a slab of creamy coconut deliciousness worthy of a Christmas gift.
Sporty and I definitely do. I’m just sayin’.
They’d much rather purchase an overpriced stocking-filler that will probably end up in the basement, attic, junk drawer or hall closet because the recipient had no use for it, couldn’t figure out what to do with it, or simply didn’t like it.
We’re humans though, which means we’re hardwired to please. It’s why we buy other people overpriced stocking-fillers and why we keep the ones they bought for us even if we think it’s ugly.
We should just regift all this stuff and be done with it. At some point you’ll end giving back the overpriced [whatever] to the thoughtful soul who gifted it to you in the first place.
The horror. But how fitting?
I’m not being Grinchy about the Holidays, I swear. I love the festive feeling that overtakes us at this time of year. I just think we need to put a little more thought into the stuff we buy.
The Holidays are also a great opportunity to teach kids about the gift of giving. But in order to do that you first need to rethink your own approach to this time of year. One way is to leave the clutter at the store.
annoying smart like that, they tend to learn by example.
What If You Love Shopping for Christmas Gifts?
I hear you. Personally, I get a real thrill out of shopping for someone special. But here’s the thing, these days my ‘someone special’ is the kid whose name I picked from the Santa Shoebox Project list.
I’ll never meet them or know if they liked what I chose for them, but I like to think they’ll see how much love and thought went into making their Christmas box.
Back when I was celebrating Christmas old school —buying stuff for the sake of having something to give because that’s what you do— I never felt excited about shopping. I saw it as a chore that had to get done.
If you really love shopping for Christmas gifts then buy things for folks who could really use them. Look for a charity or organization in your area who does something similar to the Santa Shoebox Project.
And if you really, really, really want to get something for your friends and family, challenge yourself go zero-waste with your gifts.
Buy them coffee in a glass jar, chocolate in compostable packaging or wine in a bottle. Treat them to coffee or theatre or dinner or a movie. Bake them peanut butter biscuits or chocolate cake.
Throw a Declutter Party
Along with resolving not to buy heaps of stuff you don’t need, why not challenge yourself to finally get rid of the clutter around your house?
Decluttering, spring cleaning, cleaning up. However you phrase it, it’s still super boring. Nobody wants to face their overflowing garage or closet or whatever. It’s much easier to Netflix your way through the weekend instead.
What you need is a carrot to inspire action. Sporty and I are gastronomically motivated, so for example, we’ll say: “If we do [blech chore] then we can go out for Thai.”
It works like a charm for us. If you’re not driven by your taste buds (seriously?), then think of something else to inspire you to roll up your sleeves and get decluttering.
If you need your family’s buy-in, try bribing them with pizza and ice-cream. If you’re flying solo or as a couple, enlist the help of your friends and entice them with beer and chips.
Okay then, hopefully I’ve given you something to think about. Now go forth and declutter. Also, it’s Guy Fawkes Day, but nobody cares, least of all your furry friends, so let’s just pretend it’s not.