Christmas-time can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, and a big reason for this is simply the huge volume of “stuff” that comes along with it. Tacky decorations, piles of discarded wrapping paper, packaging galore, un-wanted gifts... While we love this time of year, we do find that Christmas always come with lots of stuff that we don't necessarily want or need – Kiwis spend over $6 billion on gifts at this time of year, and lots of it end up on the landfill. This got us inspired us to research some ways to aim for a clutter-free and minimalist Christmas, so we've bought together some of our favourite ideas here to share with you too...
Clutter-Free Gift Ideas
Here are some of what we think are the best clutter-free or minimalist gift ideas for this time of year. These gifts are also great for that "person who has everything". Best of all, lots of these gifts can be ordered last-minute this week.
Low-waste and clutter-free holiday season ideas
Make sure you choose recyclable wrapping paper (you can't recycle shiny foil wrapping) – classic brown paper with twine looks really clean and modern. Or why not use fabric wrapping they can re-use, in the Japanese style called “Furoshiki” - click here for a tutorial we found online. Remember to save un-crinkled wrapping paper to use next year!
Hand-make as many gifts as you can, to avoid unnecessary packaging and waste. Check out our post on DIY gifts here for some inspiraiton.
Get a real Christmas tree – they smell and look great, plus they can be planted to be re-used next year or taken to the green-waste tip. Better than having more plastic in the house!
Make your own decorations (glitter isn't good for the environment) - paper decorations, tied bows, or baked cookies look great on a tree (check out our Gingerbread cookie post for a great recipe for this!).
Reduce leftover food waste by looking up recipe ideas to use leftovers (we found some good ideas here).
Re-gift, donate to charity, or sell un-wanted gifts. Why not have a gifting box tucked away, where you store excess presents you know you won't use, so you can re-gift them throughout the year.
Ask people for a wish-list of what they want, to avoid getting unwanted gifts.