• Gifts & Holidays

I almost dread Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I quite enjoy the time I spend with my family and loved ones and I definitely enjoy the time off work. It’s the vast quantities of stuff that fills my home. I already have too much stuff but my family seems determined to ratchet up my sense of claustrophobia by buying me more stuff, worse than that it’s sentimental stuff that I can’t throw out for fear of offending someone. Recent research shows that stuff doesn’t make you happy. If you’re going to spend money and the goal is to make people happy you’re better off buying them an experience. With that in mind here is my list of affordable clutter-free gifts

  • A Mix Tape
    • Make an album for your favourite person. Extra points if you drop in important songs from your time together. Other ideas include telling a story with the songs.
  • A Babysitting Voucher
    • Got a friend or relative with kids? Give them a night out on the town with a Babysitting Voucher. You’ll be a star if it’s a sleep over. Also you get to spend awesome time with your Grandchild/Niece/Nephew.
  • A Cleaning Voucher
    • Not everyone hates cleaning but for most people they would rather do something else. A voucher to clean a bathroom would be well received.
  • Massage Coupon
    • A massage voucher for your spouse is always a good idea. Go all out towels, candles a 1hr timer.
  • A Class
    • Do a cooking class, gardening, a second language class together. Learning stuff is a great way to make memories
  • A Car Wash/Detail
    • Who doesn’t like it when their car sparkles and smells like new? Detailing a car is all about the, well, details. Clean under seats, in the doors jams, everywhere.
  • Pet Sitting
    • Dog Kennels and Catteries are expensive and drive up the cost of having a holiday. Be an awesome relative by looking after someone’s pets.
  • Cookie/Pancake Mixes
    • Get some jars and mix all the dry ingredients for cookies or pancakes. Make some cool labels and you’ve got a memorable and delicious gift.
  • Frozen Gourmet Meals
    • For the time poor this is an amazing gift. No “lean cuisines’ for this favourite relative.
  • A “Special Day” Voucher
    • This is a great gift for kids. I still remember special days, days that have names like “Museum and Ice Cream Day” and “Dream World – Car Sickness Day”
  • A Short Story
    • Another great one for kids. Kids love stories about themselves. You could even get an artist on Odesk, or Fiverr to illustrate it for not that much.
  • Homemade Treats
    • Jars of jam from my Mother-In-aw and chutney from my Grandmother-In-Law are particularly well regarded in my house. Jars of biscuits are also a winner. Throw a decorative label on it and look out Martha Stuart.
  • Homebrew
    • Enjoy a tipple? Brew a home-made beverage. A snazzy label goes a long way. Again Fiverr will get you a cheap custom label.

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