Christmas for many families comes close to lacking any other meaning than “gimme, gimme”. People rush around looking for the perfect gift, buying gifts they hope will be appreciated.
I’ve been sharing a lot of green gift ideas recently, but this is perhaps the most important one:
Look at what you give. Look at what you want. Is it all necessary?
I’ve been working on keeping my own requests practical. One of the big things I want is a good battery charger with a solid range of rechargeable batteries. Since we have not entirely avoided electronic toys and gadgets, this would make a lot of sense for my family.
Talk with the adults in the family. Do you all need to buy gifts for each other?
My sisters and I draw names. It allows for a decent budget for each person, rather than a bunch of cheaper gifts. It’s really nice to only have to shop for a very few people.
For the kids, beware of overhyped toys and really think about what will be loved for years. Too many toys have a lifespan of under 3 months. Seems like a waste of money and resources to me.
Gifts for kids are the most difficult area to cut back in many ways. Even if you avoid commercial television, they’re going to hear about things from their friends and have to deal with comparisons. It takes some extra effort, but choosing toys that encourage activity, education or creativity while following your child’s interests can help toys to last longer than the latest ‘hot’ toy.
It takes some work to really cut back during the holiday season. But when better to cut back than at the time of year that practically symbolizes overconsumption?