Top News

Make the holidays easier with these gift-giving tips and tricks

Consider cutting down on gifts this Christmas by doing fun alternatives, like this Christmas dice game.
Consider cutting down on gifts this Christmas by doing fun alternatives, like this Christmas dice game. - Contributed

When it comes to the holidays, gift giving can be a lot of fun … but it can also be expensive and a massive amount of work. 

So, if you are interested in making Christmas shopping less stressful (and more special) this year, I have some wonderful and unique ideas for you this week’s column.

One of my favourite ways to cut down on the number of gifts I give and the number of gifts I receive is to “draw names.” In my family, each year, everyone puts their name in a Christmas draw. Each family member chooses one name from the hat so that each person only gives one gift and only receives one gift. It’s less expensive, less stressful, and environmentally friendly because it cuts down on the clutter created by an onslaught of unneeded Christmas gifts. 

Another way to cut down on Christmas clutter is choose to give “experiences” instead of “things”. Consider giving the people on your Christmas list items like money/gift cards, amusement park tickets, tickets to a live event (such as a hockey game, concert, or play), or gift cards for a lunch, movie or ice cream date. The gift of time together really is the best gift to give and receive.  

Handmade gifts are also wonderful options during the holidays. They are inexpensive, unique and fun. Knit a scarf, craft handmade ornaments, clean someone’s house, host a holiday meal, or bake a batch of your best cookies. Sharing your talents is like sharing a bit of yourself.

Making gift giving into a game is a fun idea for Christmas parties and family gatherings too. This year, my extended family will be playing a “Christmas Dice Game” together on Christmas Eve. To play, all participants will be asked to bring an inexpensive wrapped gift. For my family, we are doing a kid's exchange and an adult's exchange. The kids will each bring a $5 gift and the adults will each bring a $10 gift.

The game starts with every person choosing one wrapped gift (I suggest letting people choose their original gift based on age, from youngest to oldest.) Then, everyone sits in one big circle and takes turns rolling a die and following the instructions for the roll. E.g. A one means “keep your gift”, two means “steal someone’s gift”, three means “everyone pass your gift to the left”, four means “everyone pass your gift to the right”, five means “keep your gift” and six means “steal someone’s gift”. Play continues until every participant has rolled three times. At the end of the game, whatever gift you end up with is yours to keep! Fun, right?

As the holidays approach, remember that the true gift of Christmas is the time you spend with family and friends. There is no need to go overboard with gift buying. This year, focus on watching Christmas movies, gathering with friends and family, enjoying the Christmas decorations, listening to Christmas carols, and making memories with the people you love.



Gina Bell writes the East Coast Mommy column, which runs every second week. Follow her blog at www.EastCoastMommy.com or contact her at eastcoastmommy@gmail.com

Recent Stories