Decluttering & Organising in Norfolk.

Gifts at Christmas

Gifts at Christmas

wrapped Christmas Present

Sobering statistics

Gift giving can be a tricky. I have to admit that I enjoy giving gifts far more than I enjoy receiving them. Whilst not wanting to be a Christmas Scrooge, there is no doubt that festive gift giving involves a huge amount of over consumption and waste.

Each year in the UK, £700 million is spent on unwanted presents and approximately £42 million of those unwanted presents are thrown out in landfill each year.

Although giving presents is an integral part of Christmas, too many under the tree can be both wasteful and overwhelming. The impact on our mental health is also significant. Two in three people wish they had less stuff, and too much of it has been associated with the cortisol patterns you would find in someone with P.T.S.D.

How it used to be

My Christmas present experience as a child was definitely minimalist, but that didn’t dampen the anticipation or excitement! My siblings and I would receive one large present – (a bike, a Pogo stick, Operation game…remember those?) a selection box and an annual. And that was it. And it really was enough.

Gift guilt

I encourage people to receive gifts with appreciation and thanks for the love that has been given with it. So once the gift has been handed over, it’s then up to you to decide if you wish to keep it or move it on. Many of my clients have cupboards full of gifts and say that they feel guilty about letting go. I encourage them to think about gifts in a different way. The gift did it’s job when it was given, now the choice is to keep it and enjoy it, or let it go to be enjoyed by someone else.

Giving differently

Over the last few years my husband and I have stopped buying each other the usual consumable Christmas gifts. We decided to buy joint presents that would last us for a lifetime or choose experiences that we could enjoy together. We like art, so last year we chose and bought a piece of local art work. It’s hanging in our lounge and we get pleasure from looking at it every day. The year before we used the money to pay for a weekend away. It gave us something to look forward to when Christmas was done and dusted and we’ve got lovely memories.

A few alternatives

So in no particular order, if you are looking for a different approach to gift giving this year – here are a few alternative ideas:

  • A meal out, afternoon tea, restaurant gift cards
  • Tickets to an event or day out – make it nearby to support the local economy
  • The gift of time – babysitting, gardening, a mindful walk
  • The gift of a skill – cooking, joinery, a hand massage
  • Subscription to a magazine or online course
  • Membership of an organisation to support a hobby or interest
  • Workshops – jewellery making, weaving, photography
  • Home-made handicrafts – Christmas decorations, cushion covers
  • Edible treats – chutney, biscuits, a hamper of delicious foods, fruit basket
  • A copy of your favourite book, with a handwritten letter explaining your choice
  • Memories – photobook, scrapbook, Grandparents book, photo calendar

How about the Gift of Organising?

A Neater Life gift vouchers are available to buy either for in-person or virtual organising!

Ordering is easy just email

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