Simplify Sunday- Gift Giving

shibasI think it’s safe to say most of us love giving gifts, no? Sure, it can induce stress budgeting for and finding the perfect thing, but there’s nothing like seeing a loved one opening up the perfect gift (my perfect gifts are pictured to your left!).

However, a lot of us are trying to minimize our consumption and general level of stuff in our lives. If someone gives me something I don’t need, I will donate it or reuse it in some way (I’m not afraid of the occasional, careful re-gift). Since I do this, I can’t help but worry that I am giving others gifts that they won’t use. I don’t want to give someone something that is actually a chore waiting to happen- something they need to get rid of or that will clutter up their home.

In this post, I mentioned that I find magazines to be a great gift. The recipient gets to enjoy them month after month, and they don’t take up a lot of space. They are an indulgence that not everyone will buy for themselves. However, they are still stuff. In a comment on another post of mine, Mag suggested both a way to personalize the gift of magazines, and a really great website where you can donate toward a birthday celebration for a homeless child. What a perfect birthday gift! I would love to receive that.

Mag says:

That site is a game changer. Another one that I love is Many of us are wrapped up in consumerism and believe the more expensive the gift or the number of gifts means we are more loved. It simply is not true.

The gift I love to give to my friends and loved ones is a magazine subscription. I always send the first copy filled with tabs and post-its about articles and recipes. It is my hope that this simple but monthly gift will remind them of me, while providing them a stopping point each month in their busy lives to take a moment for themselves. By the way, happy birthday.

One time, my friend MK gave me the gift of supporting a polar bear with World Wildlife Fund. I received information about the donation and polar bears, along with a stuffed polar bear. That was so cool, I adore bears and loved to know they were being supported. Gift cards are another popular choice, but of course that’s still contributing to general “stuff”. Even better might be a restaurant gift card and the offer to babysit while your friend has a much needed night out with their spouse.

You know what your grandma wants? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not another plant. It’s to see you. The perfect gift for her is to take her out for coffee or lunch and tell her about your life. Get her to tell you a story she’s never told you before. My sister took me for a spa day, and it was fantastic. My mom sent me a sweet message about how she thinks I’m amazing.

You can easily give a gift that has meaning and creates a memory- just think outside that Hallmark box.

One more thing- Mag also left a really cool site for registries (So Kind Registry). This site lets you register for intangible things as well as tangible gifts. Having a baby? You can specify what kind of meals you would love to have people bring by for you and when, or when you could really use a babysitter for your toddler. Getting married? You can register at So Kind Registry and tell people that you don’t need plates, but you totally need someone to officiate your wedding or set up chairs between the ceremony and reception.

On a side note- friends, I am so psyched!!! A reader emailed me and she is using my 2015 Exercise Log. She showed me what she has done, and it’s incredible. She did almost 40 miles and 17 days of exercise. I’m so happy that someone is using it πŸ™‚ *insert absurdly ridiculous dance of joy here (followed by tripping and falling on the floor)*

Does anyone have any real cool gift giving ideas to share? Please let us know.



  1. I agree with gifting people what they actually need than some junk which they dont want. Its my mom who gave me the idea of giving people something useful like a pencil pouch for a kid , a blanket for your grand parents you get the flow right! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I learned from my mom how to give the perfect gift, although it took me a few years to figure out what she was doing. She always kept catalogs at her house. People naturally pick them up and browse while they’re visiting. If you really liked something in a catalog, but then said, “whoa! never mind” when you saw the price… well, that just might show up under the Christmas tree.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ginismycomfortfood says:

    I love the idea of giving an experience (like a spa day or lunch with Grandma) rather than a gift. After seeing my nieces and nephew tear through their gifts without much thought this Christmas, I’ve decided I’ll only do experiences (and a college fund contribution) for them from now on. If money is tight, an afternoon at the park or an easy hike with a simple picnic is always a great idea.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Books are always a good one… FInd out what they like and give them something that they can treasure.

    Dinner treats are also great especially when the person has everything, or you don’t know what they might like… Take them out for their favourite cuisine and they won’t be disappointed.

    Better still, if you have the time and energy, cook up dinner at home. There are tons of great recipes on the net. More personal than going out for dinner, I think!

    Finally, one for the philanthropists. Donate to your friend’s favourite charity. A completely selfless gift which will be felt much more by the person it helps.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Cute dogs!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am delighted to see your post so soon on simplifying gift giving. It is nice to read your readers’ suggestions. I agree cooking a meal together is always nice, but with little humans it can sometimes seem more like a chore. The fun alternative is the local farmer’s market. It allows everyone the affordable experience of trying something new (it’s okay to get your face painted in your 30’s, and to dare the little human to eat a watermelon radish ha! ha!), while enjoying an inexpensive meal and supporting your local community.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. At Thanksgiving my grandkids give me a list of what they want for Christmas. That way I don’t get them something unwanted or unneeded. Of course they don’t know what on the list I am going to pick for them. Plus I still fill a goody box with stocking stuffers.

    Liked by 1 person

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