The Challenges of Holiday Gift Season When You Are Downsizing

As we prepare to hit the road early next year, we suddenly have a new relationship with STUFF.  First of all, we clearly have TOO MUCH stuff.  How did we possibly accumulate it all in the 2+ years that we have lived here??  When Jay and I moved to Virginia in July 2008, we came in 2 cars with only the stuff that fit in two cars.  Now, we are trying to set off around the country in only 1 car, which means downsizing even further.

As we are diving into downsizing, we are also getting ready for Christmas, which in my large family means a lot of gifts to give and gifts to receive.  Here are our ideas for how to give Christmas cheer without adding to our accumulation of material goods and without spending all of our budget for the trip.

Gift Giving

(SPOILER ALERT — if you are family or close friends that we normally exchange gifts with, you may get a sense of what you are getting this year from us ….):

  • Services — As you can tell from the “About Service Driven” tab, Jay and I each have unique skill sets, and some of those skills can be offered as free services to our friends and family as gifts
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, REGIFT! — Clearing out the house we have uncovered so many great things that we didn’t even realize we have, some of which have never even been used!
  • Homemade — with a low budget for supplies, we can also make gifts, which is a favorite amongst our family

Receiving Gifts

  • Jay and I put together a Service Driven Wish List for supplies that we need or would like for use on our trip.
  • We are also anticipating some homemade goodies such as famous cookies and homemade baked bread.  Food in particular is great since it reduces our grocery bill!
  • Donations in our honor are always nice.  In the past I have given gift cards, which are particularly fun because the recipient gets to pick the project that benefits.

What are your suggestions for low-cost or less materialistic ways of handling gift giving?


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