Give One Less Gift This Holiday

How many of you give someone money (or a gift certificate) for the holidays? In other words, how many of you put zero thought into your gift, but just hand over some money because you feel compelled to? Or how many of you give the equivalent of a Christmas sweater, which the recipient will wear once—maybe—and then stuff in a box for the rest of the year (or forever)?

Many people simply go through the motions of giving, because it’s often really hard to get something your friends and family will really treasure. Think of all the clothing, gag gifts, and stocking stuffers that you’ve tossed in the back of a drawer, re-gifted, or hauled off to Goodwill. Every one of those gifts represents wasted money and carbon emissions. Your life, the giver’s bank account, and our planet would have been better off without them. We’ve all got enough things.

You could re-commit yourself to the spirit of the season and give thoughtful gifts, but that doesn’t solve the things problem. Or you could just opt out of gift-giving entirely, and put your friends and family on notice with this “gift certificate” from Miss Minimalist:

(There’s a full-size version you can easily print off.)

Instead, make a charitable donation in your friends’ and family members’ names (I suggest Heifer International), have everyone over for a holiday dinner (or just spend time together), or find other ways to show friends and family that you are grateful for their presence in your life.