The Minimalist Holiday Gift-Giving Dilemma (and a quick fix)
OK, I'm keeping this short, because I care. So far this has been the most stress-free holiday ever, since I decided to make this a minimalist Christmas and not worry about buying gifts for everyone in the world... (the only gifts are for the nephews and nieces, and little cousins). The only problem I'm seeing here is what to do when old friends, family and relatives hand over a gift, and I have nothing...?
Give them the most sacred gift of all: Time.
Now, I agree with Charlie's assertion that really everyone just needs a little LOVE (i think that came in his newsletter). But is giving love really all that hard..? I'd say giving your time with love is even more useful.
Here's how to make an amazing gift out of your time:
1. Buy or make thank you cards (a box of, like 20, is cheap and easy);
2. Express your gratitude in the card, and make an appropriate offering (possible ideas: a one-hour consulting session by phone or in-person, a lunch or tea date, a technology consultation or hands-on help session, a handy-man session to fix something around the house, a movie date, a walk in the park date...you get the idea);
3. Follow up on your gift, and make sure it happens.
If all else fails, you can always bring wine or chocolate (or scotch! :) )...
A few more beautiful minimalist Christmas and holiday resources and inspiration:
Adam Baker's How to Save Christmas (What xmas is NOT about -- a fabulous reminder)
Dusti Arab's Minimalist Mom ebook (get it together mama!)
Courtney Carver's Turn to Less for More Holiday Magic (focus on what's important)
Melissa Gorzelanczyk's Frolicsome Christmas Announcement (take OFF for Christmas!)
To join me in the superfocus experiment, subscribe to my email list or RSS. Follow me on twitter, but most importantly: try it out, reflect on this, and blog or write or share about your own experience with people you love.
You can also of course share this post with your friends by using the twitter, facebook, and social buttons below -- and add your own thoughts in the comments -- always good things! :)