So much stuff. Everywhere. All the time. But especially at this time of the year.
You know what I’m talking about… the toys falling off shelves, the Christmas decorations spilling into aisles, the multitude of gift ideas cluttering your vision and your path to whatever it is you entered the store to buy.
I was in Spotlight recently, looking for 4 black buttons. That was all. Just 4 simple black buttons so that I could fix an article of clothing. It took 15 minutes from the moment I stepped inside to the moment I left the building. It was a harrowing experience. Overwhelming, overstimulating and quite frankly, exhausting.
Admittedly, I don’t like shopping and it had been a while since I’d been into a shop (LOVE myonline grocery shopping!), so perhaps I was a little more “fragile” than normal, but I left that building feeling utterly frazzled. As though I’d been picked up and flown through a whirlwind of “stuff” and then not-so-gently deposited back down – with a packet of 6 black buttons (yes, 6).
It made me cringe at the thought of hitting the shops again to purchase gifts, so I haven’t. I’ve done most of my Christmas shopping this year online. As much as I love making gifts, this year with a 4 month old it just isn’t practical, so instead I’ve supported small, handmade and/or local businesses and I’ve had it all delivered to my door. What a relief!
There are a still a few gifts to purchase, mostly for some special mothers in my life, so I’ve put together a list of “stuff-less” gift ideas that I can choose from. I hope you find it useful too.
- Babysitting hours
What mother doesn’t love it when a friend or relative turns up and says, “Hey, you go out for a couple of hours. I’ve got the kids.”
- Gift vouchers
For those mothers for whom I either can’t decide what to get or who I’m not 100% sure what they want, a gift voucher will do the trick. Better yet, teamed up with babysitting hours so they can spend the voucher on their own!
- Acts of service
This may be a little difficult if you have small people of your own to care for, but if you can manage it, dropping around and picking up a load of washing (or 3) and then returning with it washed and folded the next day is a GREAT present for a busy mama.Actually, it’s a great gift any time of the year!
- Fresh produce
If you have a little garden that produces more than enough for your family, why not put some of it in a box to gift to another family? Eggs from your chooks, spinach and tomatoes from the garden, a few roses on the side – homemade, heartfelt and practical.
- Home cooking
Who doesn’t love a night off cooking? Or even a week!? Depending on how much time you have available and your budget for the extra groceries, home cooking is a beautiful gift for busy parents. If you plan it well, you can even make enough for your own family or to freeze for another occasion.
A few times, I’ve been given vegetable seedlings and they are the best gift because they’ve given me a head start on the garden and has eliminated those first few weeks that often have variable results, even for the greenest of thumbs. If you know someone who loves gardening but hasn’t had a chance to put anything in yet, now is the time start some seedlings off for them. They’ll be ready by Christmas!
What about you? What “stuff-less” gifts are you giving this year? Let me know in the comments!