Gift guide for the 2007 holiday season

Holidays 2007Over the course of the next couple weeks, we are going to be exploring uncluttered gifts you may want to consider for your holiday giving. Each post in the series will focus on a type of gift, like charitable giving or experience gifts, and will contain a number of suggestions on that theme.

When we were preparing the guide, one question kept coming up in conversation: How will it impact the recipient? Eventually, that question led us to develop the central focus for this year’s guide.

As you are preparing your shopping list for the holiday season, consider the impact your gift will have on its recipient. Will the recipient use the gift on a regular basis? Is this something the recipient truly needs? Will the recipient have to sacrifice substantial storage space for the gift? Will the gift inevitably become clutter? Can I find a gift instead that is perfect for the recipient that has no possibility of becoming clutter?

We hope that the coming gift giving posts will be a helpful guide during the holiday season. Stay tuned for our uncluttered gift ideas!

18 Comments for “Gift guide for the 2007 holiday season”

  1. posted by Kris on

    Unless someone has asked for something specific (my dad, for example, wants the movie ’300′ on DVD; my MIL always wants a calendar with our children’s photos on it) .. then we give food. Wonderfully wrapped, gorgeous, delicious food. Fruit, nuts, pies, cookies … various things from various companies (Harry and David is a personal favorite, as is Hemslojd for the Swedish side of my family. Wine is also a great gift, particularly from local vineyards. No clutter. And who doesn’t like to open decadent sundries?

  2. posted by Clancy on

    I always like to receive (and give) things that can be used up, like the food suggestion above and shower gel, candles, or other things I know the recipient uses a lot.

  3. posted by Chris on

    I like to get gift certificates to restaurants that I like to frequent or movie theaters. I have specifically told my significant other not to buy me things that I have to store.

  4. posted by Leigh Ann on

    I like gift certificates for digital stuff – music, VIP memberships to favorite websites, digital scrapbooking supplies, ebooks, etc.

    See what hobbies the person has, and see what’s offered online – ie. a guitarist might like a subscription to a guitar educational website or a PDA enthusiast might like a gift certificate for software downloads, etc.

  5. posted by Mary on

    While I like the idea of giving food, realize that a lot of people are either trying to cut back on sweets or are truly sick of sweets by the time the big arrives. I have found that people really enjoy receiving a loaf of freshly baked (homemade of course) bread.

  6. posted by Kris on

    I thought of something else …. my grandmother recently acquired a beautiful rare parrot. I’m getting her a gift card to her favorite pet store for the holidays … she’s gonna love it.

  7. posted by D-List 6 Figure Blogger on

    I give my time – most of the people I know already have everything they need. Take them out for a day and just catch up – best gift of all.

  8. posted by jesse on

    I go for the following with people who I’m not ceasing gifts with completely:

    - requested items

    - exchange donations to favorite causes (good vibes and also, tax write-off)

    - comestibles (I will probably be giving our office baked treats from a new vegan baker in town – I’ve already had 2 non-vegan coworkers sample and thumbs-up the goodies)

    - very basic bath stuff like soaps and moisturizers

    - gift cards for services like mani/pedi, massages, etc.

  9. posted by Jessica on

    I like giving and getting tickets to events, too. Concerts, plays, sporting events… whatever the person will enjoy. It’s fun (especially if you go with them) and doesn’t leave any “stuff” behind. Once I took my husband to a minor league hockey game as a birthday present, since he loves hockey – we both really enjoyed it and look Ma, no clutter!

  10. posted by Jasi on

    Very cool post. Ultimately everyone has to deal with their own clutter, but some people have a harder time with it. It’s thoughtful to consider the impact of the holiday season on clutter bugs.

  11. posted by Kerry on

    Such a cool idea! I want to try wrap with more functional items this year with things like tea towels, or just giving things open in a nice basket. Cuts down on gift wrap and also allows the person to use the tea towel or basket for something functional around their house!

  12. posted by MikeDude on

    I’m surprised no one said anything about regifting…the way to turn your clutter into treasure (or clutter) for someone else.

    One good unclutting gift for kids is donations to their college fund or 529 plan. My baby is too young to really know what is happening, and doesn’t need 200 lead based chinese plastic gizmos, so parents and grandparents, please give one book and a check.

  13. posted by Sandra on

    It sounds obvious, but when giving things like foods and lotions, try to make sure you have some idea of the person’s allergies or lack thereof. If you have home-baked the goods, it might be cute to somehow incorporate also gifting the recipe as well as the baked goods; this way the person will also know what was in them in case of unknown allergies on your part.

  14. posted by erin on

    Sandra, you beat me to it! I was just about to post about allergies. I can’t use any skin products that have perfumes in them, so I hate getting bath stuff as a generic gift, at work for example. I usually end up storing the stuff and re-gifting it, but gift certificates would be much more useful.

    One idea that I had this year was to not buy cds for family members (as we used to do) but instead get gift certificates for music downloads. Not only does the recipient get exactly what they want, but there’s no clutter. :)

  15. posted by ClickerTrainer on

    I like to give movie passes or gift cards for holiday pies for those visiting others for holiday dinners. Both are easy on household and waistline “clutter”.

  16. posted by MadMolecule on

    Here’s another thought for the person who’s tough to shop for: eBay gift certificates.

  17. posted by kmsqrd on

    I bought my brother a single near court side ticket for a basket ball game. It’s something I know he’ll love and won’t buy for himself.

  18. posted by Kathryn Fenner on

    Food: Be considerate of allergies and weight loss efforts, but things that can be served to holiday drop-in guests or subsequently presented as hostess gifts (wine, in particular) can get around this.

    Soaps and candles, etc.: Again consider allergies, but if these are nice enough to be used for hostess purposes, see above.

    Hobbies: as the child of hobbyists, I have learned that you usually cannot give people things related to their hobbies because they are usually too specialized for you to understand what would be useful. My parents are birders,but a bird book that they might value will be hard for anyone to fathom, ditto binoculars, etc. My dad is a serious chess player and only uses Staunton, weighted tournament sets, not ye olde gift shoppe kinds.

    Books: you can’t go too far off on them–think big picture books; they don’t take up a lot of space, and they are easy enough to pass along to library book sales and the like.

    Experiences: only if the person will actually use them–so many enthusiasts of, say, mani-pedis give gift certificates for them, not realizing that women who don’t get them often don’t get them because they don’t want them or are intimidated by salons–either way the gift certificate will be wasted–so think a bit. My mom will never ever go for a massage–she hates being touched.She wants the fastest haircut possible and then scram!

    Restaurant meals out– be careful–I got a “thank you” gift certificate to a fancy restaurant that said tips were not included–so I had to fork over $40 out of pocket to ethically enjoy the (over-priced) experience– gee thanks!

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