Why Clutter free Christmas gifts?

I genuinely love buying Christmas gifts for my people. I love being able to spoil them or bless them in a way that I wouldn’t usually. I don’t go all out and by things for everyone I know – but my immediate family (husband, sister, parents, grandparents, nieces) is so much fun to buy for. There was a time when I never gave any thought to clutter free Christmas gifts.

But a few years ago my grandparents moved into town and we (well, mostly my mother) spent long long months cleaning out their farm. 50 years of stuff had to be sorted and boxed and donated or taken to the dump or prepared for auction.

Related Post: Clutter Free Christmas Gifts For Toddlers to Teens

If you know what 50 years of stuff looks like, it is pretty insane. For my family, the experience was life changing. We stopped to look around at all the stuff we were accumulating in our own homes, and we started to think about having less.

THAT Christmas, gift buying wasn’t quit as much fun. We seriously considered not doing gifts at all. But that made me a little sad, because I genuinely love buying Christmas gifts for my people.

It also made me sad to think that I would waste money on stuff that just sits around collecting dust and is eventually sent to the thrift store, (or even things that are enjoyed, but contribute to the never ending stream of clutter).

Related Post: How to have a FUN frugal Christmas (9 money saving ideas) 

It’s taken us a few years, but we have more or less figured out how to be a clutter free Christmas gifts giving family now. And it’s awesome.

First, basic clutter free Christmas gifts rules:

To fall into the “clutter free Christmas gifts” category, a gift has to be something that either a) doesn’t exist physically, b) is consumable c) is desperately wanted and LOVED by the person receiving it, or D) is USEFUL. (But very few people want a cheese grater for Christmas.) Gifts that fall into the “C” category are gifts I don’t make assumptions about. If you’re getting a “C” category gift from me, I’ve checked with you to see if you WANT this, or it’s returnable at the very least. So the following rules apply:

  1. Ask the people on your list what they want. Seriously, do this. It’s OK if the gift isn’t a complete surprise. (Case in point. I have wanted a gorgeous globe like this one for YEARS – my sister asked me what I wanted, and now I have one. I asked her what SHE wanted, and now she has this pretty blanket for her living room. I would never have chosen that for her in a million years if I had been left to figure it out on my own. But it’s what she wanted.)
  2. Gifts that are useful but STILL enjoyable are GREAT gifts – and they DO exist. There’s some on this list. Just make sure the person receiving them thinks they’re enjoyable!
  3. More gifts is not better. You don’t need to buy everyone 10 things to open. (Plus, you can spend a bit more when you’re only buying one or two things.)
  4. When in doubt, go with something consumable / experience-able / digital. 
  5. Make a family rule about no one getting offended if someone wants to return a gift. 

For Women ~ 

by far the easiest list for me to come with ideas for, haha, I’d love to receive ANYTHING on this list!

  • Gift certificate for spa day / manicure / massage.
  • Weekend get away with hubby or girlfriends. 
  • A Kindle – (and a subscription to Amazon Kindle so they don’t have to buy a book all year – get the first 30 days FREE with this link – Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial). This gift is not only clutter free, it’s ANTI clutter. Clear off those book shelves!

  • Family photo session (professional)  – every momma wants beautiful family pictures. Get a gorgeous frame to go with it.
  • Wine. Wine is always a good idea.
  • Jewelry.
  • Lazy One Pjs – (Not kidding when I say they are my all time favorite. Haven’t taken them off today actually – don’t judge me, I’m 7 1/2 months pregnant and spent the whole morning crying. Pjs seemed allowable.)

  • An awesome day planner and journaling supplies / a gorgeous Journaling Bible. 
  • A gym membership – (as long as it won’t be taken as an offense. I’D love a gym membership.)
  • Essential Oils set – (or a few of her favorite essential oils). My all time favorites are Aroma Seize, Lavender, Cedarwood, Peppermint and Theives.

(TIP: If you are buying anything online, get a 3$ Virtual Visa code for downloading the ShopTracker app (you just need to have an amazon account to “qualify”) and you can repeat this every 30 days – that’s 36$/ year for 2 minutes per month! Then you can use the Virtual Visa towards your purchases.)

For Men ~ 

I asked G for input here, and he came up with some ideas I wouldn’t have thought of. Like # 1.

  • Sex. (Lingerie preferred, apparently.)
  • A round of golf or snowboard / ski pass.
  • A nice watch if it’s something he will use. My brother in law just got one of these wooden watches. It’s totally different from anything else I’ve ever seen, and looks awesome!

  • Tickets to a sporting event.
  • Aftershave / cologne.
  • Satellite Radio Subscription. 
  • Leatherman / Swiss Army knife. 

  • Good quality whiskey or craft beers.

For the Grandparents ~ 

This is trickier, since many of our grandparents have often ALREADY downsized, or are nearing a downsizing stage, and buying them anything can feel counter productive. Plus I find them so likely to say “Don’t buy me anything!”. But I think there’s still a few great clutter free Christmas gifts for grandpa and grandmas, even if they’ve moved into seniors housing.

  • Membership to a community golf club (or other club they’d enjoy – pottery, dancing, craft workshop etc). – If it’s expensive, maybe everyone in the family could go in on it together.
  • Gift certificates to their favorite restaurant.
  • Gourmet Pantry items  If they cook.
  • Slippers – Maybe a little cliche, but that’s ok if they’re cute ones – and if they’ll get used.

  • Home made but consumable / useful items – like candles, soap, or decorated by the grandkids tea towels & pot holders. Or cookies. (I hesitate to give downsized grandparents tooooo much of the stuff that needs to sit around, like home made flower pots, picture frames, pencil holders ect. I know, I’m a scrooge.)

Family Gifts ~

Clutter free Christmas gifts can be made a whole lots easier by giving one gift to a whole family instead of gifting each individual with something. (Perhaps for your sister’s family, or your best friend’s family.)

  • Board games – IF this is a family that plays games. For families with older kids (teenagers) Settlers of Catan is hands down our favorite (If the family is bigger than four people, you need to include a 5/6 player expansion pack.)  For families with younger kids, Monopoly is still my favorite – doesn’t hurt that it comes in a Disney version.

  • Family movie night – Wrap up a DVD with popcorn and hot chocolate.
  • Gift certificate for a family activity – (bowling, movie passes, museum passes ect).

Do you try to give clutter free Christmas gifts? I’d love some more suggestions – for anyone at any age. Are there any rules you use to select clutter free Christmas gifts that I haven’t mentioned?

Related: Clutter Free Christmas Gifts For Toddlers to Teens
Related: How I conquer Clutter When it’s Emotionally Difficult

Clutter Free Christmas Gifts Guide / Gift Ideas