Photo Credit: Flickr user Hilde Skjolberg
If you’re anything like me, you might be finding yourself overwhelmed with the idea of finding space in the house for the Christmas gifts that are going to be overcrowding your living room in a few short weeks. We’re in the unique position that, even though we’re an active duty family, we’ve been stationed in the same place for 5+ years and have stayed in the same home. This has led to an overwhelming accumulation of stuff. A few weeks back, I looked at my husband and told him we didn’t have room for Christmas. So, this year instead of purchasing toys for my kids that will ultimately sit and collect dust, we’ve decided to do a “minimalist Christmas”. Here’s some ideas I’ve come up with.
My husband loves receiving food. We use holidays as a chance to break away from the healthier lifestyle we try to stick to. For Christmas, he’s getting some of the sugary goodies we usually avoid. I was also able to go online and find a sauce from Japan that he loves but we never have. In the past, I’ve even bought my father in law soda because that was a rare treat for him. A special sauce for the guy who loves to BBQ is also a great treat.
There are some great options out there for monthly memberships. Anything from streaming music services to gym memberships to wine clubs. Just be careful about how you give him that gym membership! We don’t want him to think you aren’t happy with how he looks – that’s not a fun Christmas thought! (the thought counts!)
It’s small and packs a good punch! Can’t go wrong with good jewelry. Costume jewelry is definitely in fashion too, so you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to make someone’s face light up and wrists and fingers shine!
It’s a tad cliché, but still fantastic. Take it a step further and don’t just buy a $50 certificate. Look into the exact services a spa offers, select something specific, and then add enough for a tip too!
This is my all time favorite. I absolutely love shopping (especially without my kids in tow). A couple years ago, my husband sweated over the fact that he “only” got me a gift card to one of my favorite stores. I was in heaven! Include a note that says she can’t buy anything practical or anything for someone else. And if you have kids, make sure she gets a chance to go without them.
FOR THE KIDS
This could be individual or family dates. Things we’ve done in our house include movie nights, theatre or concert tickets, flea market shopping, etc. One of our daughter’s favorite memories is a date she had with her dad when he gave her $15 and they went to a few garage sales and a consignment store. Movie nights are also rare because of the cost nowadays. This is actually one of the gifts under our tree this year! Ice cream dates are also very popular with our kiddos.
A rule in our house is that each kid gets one activity at a time. It’s an extra treat for them to have an extra endeavor to fill their schedule. Let them try something new like art classes, Taekwondo, pottery, web design, magic, singing, etc. Get creative and find the unique things available in your area.
Puzzles or Games
Kids love quality time – even older kids. Some of my best memories are of my family putting together puzzles during the Christmas school break. We would set up a card table and leave it out for two weeks, sit together and chat, or sneak in a piece as we walked by during the day. Today, we spend all our family time during the school week playing board games or card games. There are several great games even for little ones. Gamewright and a Days of Wonder are our favorites. Check out boardgamegeek.com to find others. There are great, simple card games like Golf that little ones like and aren’t too complicated or take too much time.
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12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Code Word: Stockings