How to spend less time and money shopping for holiday gifts

Give fewer gifts

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one-gift Christmas morning

credit: K Martinko -- OK, so my kids weren't terribly thrilled to get just one gift last Christmas, but they survived. We went to the beach instead!

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Gift exchanges are fun and traditional, but they can also be expensive and wasteful, especially if you don’t like or can’t use what you have received. It fuels much of the consumerism that is so damaging to our planet and culture. The gift exchange goes against much of what we at TreeHugger strive for throughout the rest of the year – simple, small, green, and often frugal lifestyles. That’s why we need to take a step back to reassess the shopping madness. Here are some thoughts on how to spend less time and effort on it.

Kids don’t need to be showered in multiple presents from their parents. We like to keep it simple at our house – one gift from Santa and one from us. Tell visitors not to come laden with presents for the kids. As exciting as it is to rip off the paper and play with a new toy, inevitably it gets forgotten in the wild frenzy of having so many new toys to play with. By receiving fewer, a child will stay more focused on that particular gift.

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