Introducing the 2014 Unclutterer Holiday Gift Giving Guide

Starting Monday and going through the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we will be running our annual Unclutterer Holiday Gift Giving Guide. Each post will focus on uncluttered, useful, and/or organized gifts that you might want to consider giving to others this season.

The holidays are a time when we can easily feel overwhelmed with responsibilities, as well as by stuff. With our Guide, we hope to inspire you to think outside the traditional gift-giving process or to be more aware of how you proceed within its regular bounds.

The next seven weeks, however, aren’t only about gifts. You’ll likely be invited to parties and have special work or school obligations. You may be the host of this year’s Thanksgiving gathering. And you may find yourself packing up a suitcase or two or three and heading across the country to see far-flung friends and family.

So, how do you keep yourself from going mad?

  • Make a plan now. Create a to-do-list of everything that needs to be accomplished. Then, set specific deadlines for shopping and preparations or whatever it is you have to do in the next seven weeks. Mark these on your calendar with blocks of time to work on meeting your deadlines. If playing host for a holiday meal, consult a guide that lists day-by-day and hour-by-hour suggestions for getting food on the table.
  • Take a break. You don’t have to constantly be on the go until the New Year. When scheduling all the things you need to do on your calendar, be sure to include time for reflection and rejuvenation. You’re likely to go bonkers, otherwise. Also try not to be afraid of saying “no” if you feel that your schedule is becoming too much to reasonably handle.
  • Keep it simple. Whether it’s with your decorations, your gift giving, or any other task that could complicate this time, try your best to keep things simple. You don’t have to put out every snow man you own. You don’t have to serve every dish your grandmother did at Thanksgiving. You don’t have to give New Year’s guests four choices of champagne. Have a signature cocktail and make a pitcher of it instead of standing behind a bar all night making custom orders. Santa Claus can bring the kids a single, larger gift instead of 40 little ones. Don’t be overly complicated about things unless you have to.

Stay focused on enjoying time with family and friends and you should be fine this holiday season.

If you’re eager to get started planning your gift giving this season, feel welcome to check out our past Guides for ideas: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

6 Comments for “Introducing the 2014 Unclutterer Holiday Gift Giving Guide”

  1. posted by Mark Lilly on

    My wife and I love the idea of keeping the holidays as simple as possible. It’s in such contrast with how my family does it, but it works for us.

  2. posted by john holm on

    Me and my wife take a break by going to the beach and spending the entire day there, this eases the stress and we can enjoy the water, sand and each others company.

  3. posted by Sandra Hollywood on

    With half of my family in UK, and the need to have gifts in the mail by November 15th, Christmas shopping seems much more manageable. While shopping for gifts for that half of the family, I found many gifts for my family still in Canada. So, my Christmas shopping is way more than half finished….no crowds, full shelves, etc. I will shop for the remainder (gift cards) after a little break.

  4. posted by Shirl on

    Our family gave up the Christmas gift giving circus 20 years ago and no one misses it. We decided that we were driving ourselves crazy trying to buy the perfect gift for people that don’t need any gifts perfect or not. We did the pick a name for a few years, but that was even a waste of time and energy. Now our Christmas is spent having fun, playing board games, TALKING,(no cell phones or TV allowed) and enjoying each others company…a rarity in our diverse and busy lives. I take it back we do give each other presents but it’s the best one,perfect, we give ourselves.

  5. posted by Nic on

    I’m amazed at how many people still participate in the holiday gift giving frenzy, to be honest. It feels so commercialized, so corporate. For most people I’ve discussed this with, they find the holiday gift giving process stressful, exhausting, and prohibitively expensive. They love giving, but the expectations and pressure take the joy out of it. After many years of buying for many people, my husband and I no longer participate in gift giving. We take a vacation at that time of year as a gift to each other, and we no longer give presents to family or friends. It’s wonderful. We actually enjoy the holidays again. It came to a head when we realized we were giving people gift cards because we were too tired to track down “real” gifts, and we were receiving gift cards in return. This whole process seemed unnecessary so we gradually phased it out. Most people I know complain they have too much stuff anyway. There are ways to show you care without spending money.

  6. posted by Shell on

    Love Shirl’s comment re not buying presents, every year I wonder about suggesting the same, but think there would be an outcry! I buy most of mine online now, saves a lot of time and expense!

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