Alternatives to Traditional Family Gift Giving

Alternatives to Traditional Family Gift Giving

Spread the Sustainable Gospel!

Alternatives to Traditional Family Gift Giving | Stop buying gifts for everyone! My family is HUGE so when it comes to holiday gift-giving, everyone would go broke if we bought gifts for each person. It’s just not realistic and triggers financial and eco-anxiety in me every single year since that is STILL the norm. Yes, I’m a pouting Grinch. Sorry, I just don’t like stuff.

Related: How I Avoid Getting More Stuff During the Holidays

We are obsessed with consumption, especially around the holidays. Every year, the average American spends $700 on Christmas. If we instead donated that money to charity, we could single-handedly wipe out food insecurity. Now THAT is a better gift for Christmas, don’t you think?

And not only that but we already have too much stuff. The average American has over 300,000 items in their homes. This stuff accumulates, takes up space, causes stress, and in the end, will probably head to a landfill.

Consumption is the root of most of our environmental issues. We just consume too much, period.

There’s a better way. And it starts with YOU.

We have to change. We have to rethink gift giving at Christmas time.

Alternatives to Traditional Family Gift Giving

Alternatives to Traditional Family Gift Giving

Stop Gifting Entirely 

Yes, seriously. The holidays don’t have to be about presents. I understand that we may want to get someone something because they are special to us but honestly, gifting time with someone outweighs a physical object.

Just enjoy time together! Roast marshmallows outside, watch a Christmas movie, bake cookies, or have a gingerbread house-building party. Presents aren’t necessary. 

Group Games with Gifts

Christmas Games for Gifts

Pool a few bucks each for some prizes like candy, booze, lotto tickets, or a restaurant gift card. Heck, just make the cash the prize. Play fun games to get everyone involved for a chance to win.

Our family has done this in the past and it was SO much fun. We laughed, cried, and nearly peed ourselves. I even got $20 on a lotto ticket I won!

You can find some fun Christmas games HERE.

Secret Santa

Draw names secretively, and shop for that one person with purpose. This saves money and gives you the time to really get that one person something special. I still love and wear a stocking hat my cousin gave me as a secret Santa gift nearly 20 years ago. I don’t think she knows that but I hope she does now.

Draw Numbers

Have everyone bring one generic gift that anyone could use. Number the gifts, then draw numbers. For some ideas check out my post:

101 Zero Waste Gift Ideas

A Christmas Experience

ice skating zero waste

Have the family pool a few dollars each and do something together like rent a limo and go look at lights, go sledding, or even ice skating. Memories will always be better gift than stuff.

Adopt a Family

Adopt a Family as a family. Instead of getting presents for each other, get necessities for a family. Give back to those in need. Christmas shouldn’t always be about “wants”. This is a great time to show others, even complete strangers, that we care about them.

Related: 20 Zero Waste Acts of Kindness Challenge

A memorable holiday doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. It also doesn’t have to end with you stuffing your car full of stuff you really didn’t want or need in the first place.

Rethink gift giving!

For more Christmas posts check out:

What fun Alternatives to Traditional Family Gift Giving do you partake in during the holidays?