Monday, October 15, 2012

Minimalist Monday: When Gifting Less Is Sometimes More

With the holidays just around the corner, the time to start making that sometimes dreaded annual gift list is upon us. In the past years, my husband and I have done a pretty good job of following the 3-gifts-only rule for all of our children. The three gifts idea is in honor and likeness to the gifts given by the Three Kings to baby Jesus in the Holy Bible. Our three gifts include a book, a game, and "big" gift. Every year we remind our family and friends that one simple gift is more than enough for our children, be it a book or a game they can share. But knowing that most of them won't adhere to our plee of keeping our kids' things to a minimum, our 3-gifts-rule may soon become just 1 big gift.

If you have already been applying some sort of "rule" when it comes to gift giving, good for you. I applaud you for having the willpower to not use the holidays to go overboard with presents. It took us awhile to figure that out, because as parents, it's in our nature to want to give our kids what we never had. But now that we have, we know that it's not the gifts that are important during these times of the year, but that we are spending a special time together.

Growing up, I don't recall asking for much from my parents. But then again, I could be remembering incorrectly. Nevertheless, I'd like to think that I wasn't a spoiled child. And I would like to raise the same values with my children. I truly believe that it's never too early to instill simple and sustainable living with our children. My kids know more about how we can be good to Mother Earth than I ever did my 30+ years of having lived on this planet. We have been talking about what gifts to give family and friends, and I'm so proud of my children for mentioning that we shouldn't give anything made of plastic (unless it's recycled) and "wrap" them with reusable bags. I couldn't be more happy knowing that my zest and gusto for wanting a better, healthier, and cleaner life is rubbing off on them.

This holiday season, think outside the box, condense your list, and be creative with your gifts. When you think of your recipient, think about our planet, too. Whatever your budget is, I wouldn't be surprised if you find a comparable, Earth-friendly gift that I bet your fam or friend will be just as happy receiving. Want to give coffee or tea? There are numerous organic or fair-trade options  being sold at grocery stores or big box stores that cost about the same. Think it's difficult to find eco-friendly toys for the kids on your list? Nope. There are tons to choose from now than ever before. You can find organic, all-natural, non-toxic, and locally-made alternatives to your favorite products online and at various stores nationwide.

As the holidays near, The Green House will share with you deals, reviews, and giveaways that can assist you with your shopping list. We'll help you have a (more) sustainable holiday season that will hopefully continue over to 2013! Stay tuned!


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