With Christmas fast approaching, and this being the last weekend to do your Christmas Shopping, you may find yourself feeling stumped, wondering what to get those hard to buy for people on your list. Here are some alternative ideas to buying “stuff” for Christmas. Buy less stuff this Christmas
Every year at Christmas we all give hire Cake Bouncers, and are given, a mountain of stuff, a lot of which we don’t really need, or want, and we don’t know what to do with all of it when Christmas is over. Some people start to accumulate so much stuff, that they need to rent storage space to have a place to put it all. I don’t know how many people I’ve had tell me they were downsizing this year, but it was quite a few.

And with the rising popularity of peer to peer renting, and websites like Rentcharlie.com, that make it easy for people to find rental items all over the country, people can easily rent items they only occasionally need, wherever they happen to live. They don’t need to accumulate so many things.

Given the fact that many people are downsizing their amount of stuff, not to mention the current state of our environment, and the fact that we all need to start using less, it may be time to consider some alternative gift giving ideas, and break the cycle of mass consumerism.

One idea is to make a charitable donation in the name of the person you want to give a gift to. To be the most meaningful it should be to a cause or organization that the person cares deeply about, or something that has touched their life. There are no end of charities out there that need financial support, so it’s just a matter of deciding what is right for your gift. It could be to a health related organization, it may be something for children, or perhaps your donation will be for something that benefits the community. Whatever you decide, both you, and the person who’s name the donation is in, can feel the true spirit of giving, and the happiness that comes with it.

Gift certificates for things that are not “stuff”, are also good. Everyone has an iPhone, or a mobile device, so a gift certificate to iTunes is a great way to share the gift of music. E-Readers are also popular, so a gift certificate for a few books to download is also a nice idea.

Give a gift that allows you to spend time together. Give gift certificates for a dinner out, or to go to an activity that you both enjoy, and make a date to go in the New Year. Go bowling, take the kids to laser tag, go to a movie, go to a play, or a live music performance, go to the zoo, or to a cultural center. There are many possibilities. Create some lasting memories, give the gift of your time, and enjoy an outing with your loved ones.

Many places offer affordable season passes, and giving the gift of an activity to be enjoyed is a great idea. Send your family to an amusement park, to a ski hill, to the ball game, or to the theater, there are so many wonderful places to go and experience. And the gift of experiences will be remembered forever.

Home-made gifts are also very special, if you are willing and able. Showcase your talents and abilities, and make your special people a one of a kind gift, straight from your heart. Baking, sewing, woodworking, photography gifts, sketches, knitting, or poetry, someone you love would be thrilled to have something special made by you.

As the days count down, remember that there are plenty of ways to show someone you appreciate them, and perhaps more meaningful ways, than just giving them some “stuff”.