Image via wolvesinlondon.com
When you start unwrapping gifts this year, switch on your recycling brain and save as much paper, ribbon, bows, cards and tinsel as you can. Start a little stockpile of all your bits and pieces so that during the year, when you're wanting to wrap gifts, you have paper, ribbons and the makings of a card on hand. Along with the transformation in mindset that comes with simplifying life, you often change your mind about what to give as gifts.
Gone are the days when you want to impress with your gift and the price you paid for it. The focus now is on giving something that will be appreciated, and often the gift is either handmade or a mix of handmade and purchased items. For many years now, when I give a small gift, I give homemade soap and a hand knitted face cloth made using soft organic knitting cotton. When I don't have time to make a batch of soap and there is a gift due, I'll buy good quality natural soap and team that with a knitted cloth from my stash.
Another popular gift I've given to a few people is a jar of homemade chilli jam with my sesame cheese crackers, a pack of good cheese and a small bread board. Of course you can make everything you give, or buy everything you give, but it's also fine to combine the two. You will probably give to the same people every year and it can be difficult coming up with original ideas. So if you buy the gift from a shop, add something homemade to it, and if you make the gift, buy something small that will complement what you've made. Then you can give your homemade goodies every year but your gifts will change depending on what you add.
Making hampers is a good way to give a substantial gift without too much cost involved. A small basket of homemade preserves, relishes, pickles and ginger beer, presented in flip top bottles or lovely glass jars, would be a gift I'd love to give as well as receive. The good thing about these sorts of gifts is that you can make them in several batches in the later part of the year so there is no last minutes rush. If you gave a food gift last year, a bucket of homemade cleaning goods would also be a great gift idea that most people would love. Two litres of homemade laundry liquid, a spray bottle of citrus vinegar spray, natural soap, a jar of homemade Gumption (half laundry liquid and half bicarb) and some good quality brushes or dishcloths from the shop would be a very generous gift.
Biome has some good cleaning stock so if you're looking for cloths, brushes or cleaning products, have a look at their range. Handmade gifts are very popular at the moment and I hope that trend continues for many years to come. It's like we've come to our senses when giving gifts and we have the freedom to be creative and original by mixing it up a little. So don't stress about giving this or that, just give what you think will be appreciated and never go into debt to do it. And remember, gifts are a sign of our love and affection, and that never comes with a dollar tag attached to it. I hope you have a wonderful holiday having fun with your family and friends, or feet up while reading a book or watching the cricket. Merry Christmas everyone.
Over four guest posts Rhonda has inspired us to find simplicity this festive season.
Read her other posts Simplicity at Christmas Time , Planning and Budgeting Christmas Gifts and Working within a Christmas budget. Rhonda Hetzel blogs about her simple life at Down to Earth blog. She has also published the book “Down to Earth: a guide to simple living” and has a second book “The Simple Home” due for release in March 2016. Rhonda shows how to find the pleasure and meaning in a simpler life. She writes: “The work you do in your own home, by creating a warm and secure place for yourself and your family to live in, will enrich you and make you a different person”.