Tuesday 2 December 2014

Avoid stress with gifts - My tips

Hello everyone, stress is slowly pulling - the dreaded holiday season begins. With three children the dates multiply at once: lantern parades, festival of lights in the kindergarten, project week in school, Christmas concert and the presentation of the sports group and then all the foundationmeetings, Christmas parties etc.
The grandmothers call and want to know what they should give their grandchildren for Christmas and when we will arrive for Christmas, anyway...

The weather turns bad and the kids need new clothes again. Arrgghh...

And by the way, I still want to have a relaxing time together with my children: something like baking cookies would be nice while listening to Christmas carols. But that is only if our home does not look like hell...

But I am not writing this post to complain to you but to make constructive suggestions. I guess I am not the only one having the most trouble with finding nice presents for our loved ones and all the other people before Christmas. Therefore, here are my ultimate tips to avoid stress with gifts:

1. No gifts this year!
This is no joke, I am serious. Us adults in the family have decided some time ago that only the children will get presents at Christmas. The costs of all the gifts we were giving each other became unaffordable. What a relief not to have to think about presents for all the adults (who by the way have everything they need and want, anyhow). Ok, if you think this is going to far, you get some other possibilities from me:

2. Mass gifts!
This year I had a brilliant idea: To all the people that have just earned a nice present from me I am going to give the same. I bought a 5 liter can of the finest olive oil from Sicily. This oil is very expensive but also damn good. I will fill this oil into smaller bottles and VoilĂ : I got a nice present for about 20 people (friends, neighbors, colleagues, teachers, ...) and I won't have to think about a single present for each and everyone of them...

3. Give handmade things
If you do not want to give something big, why not tinker, sew or knit something? You could bake cookies as well. The possibilities are endless and the children can help you, too. Ok, this option might be the most time-consuming one. But it can also be very relaxing to sit on the couch and knit a scarf for mum in the evening.

4. Get a wishlist at Amazon
If you got children you already know this: Everyone in the family wants to give something to the children and everyone wants to know from you what to give. Having three children means quite a lot of gifts... You could simplify the process by setting up an Amazon Wishlist. I recommend the Amazon wish list button for your bookmarks bar - so you will be able to save items from the web on your list as well. And don't forget to send the link to your family members. So they can have a look on you wishlist and buy all the stuff you want for yourself and your family.

5. Buy used!
Ok, this doesn't have to do a lot with stress reduction but I still would like to mention it: toys like Barbie dolls, Lego bricks and all this plastic stuff you could buy used as well on eBay or Amazon. The plastic stuff lasts forever and looks like new even if it is used. If you have no time to look for it why don't you ask grandma or grandpa? They usually enjouy looking for presents.

How do you cope with the gift problem? Are gifts causing you stress? Or is it just fun? Maybe you got some super tips on stock? I'd like to hear from you :-).

Photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

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