Simplify Your Holidays in Minutes with One Easy Step

Christmas presents

If you do just one thing this holiday season to make your holidays simpler and merrier, try this. With Christmas just 7 weeks away, now is the perfect time to help your family create an online holiday gift wish list. Our extended family has used Christmas Wish List since 2002, and we love it.

Here’s how it works: you create an online group for your family, and then each family member logs on and creates a wish list of things they could really use and enjoy for holiday gifts. Group members can note when an item is purchased, but you can’t see the status of your own list. It feels a little funny at first, being so transparent about  The Stuff You Want. However, I predict that if you try it for one year you’ll be hooked.

The advantages are many.  You’ll save hours of shopping time because you’ll know exactly what your hard-to-buy-for father wants. You’ll save time after the holidays, too, because you won’t be returning the light-up Rudolph sweater (size XS Petite), that Grandma bought you. You’ll save storage space, because you won’t be tucking away the fishing lure toilet seat your brother-in-law bought so that you can bring it out the next time he visits. And you’ll probably save money, because you can comparison shop online for the best prices.

Meanwhile, you can ask for something you could really use and enjoy — perhaps a gift certificate to a nursery to buy vegetable seeds next spring. Or something to support your green lifestyle, like a solar-powered battery charger or a rain barrel. Perhaps you have all the stuff you need, and you’d love to direct givers to support your favorite charitable organization in lieu of a gift.

What steps are you taking this year to simplify and ‘green’ your holidays? I’d love to hear your ideas and share them with our readers.

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You might also enjoy:

One Family’s Real Simple Christmas

Can You Compost a Poinsettia?

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About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

4 comments to Simplify Your Holidays in Minutes with One Easy Step

  • I adore purchasing presents at Christmas. Also, knowing a man’s list of things to get makes shopping considerably more fun. There’s no mystery and presumably no requirement for return receipts. Its online component having the capacity to get to the rundown online makes it much more down to earth and simple. Much obliged for sharing this straightforward yet profitable tip

  • darla

    I love buying gifts at Christmas. And knowing a person’s wish list makes shopping even more fun. There’s no guesswork and probably no need for return receipts. The online element of it–being able to access the list online–makes it even more practical and easy. Thanks for sharing this simple yet valuable tip!

  • This is very similar to what my family does at xmas time. Every year we appoint one person to do a secret draw (put all the family’s name in a hat and assign each person one person to buy a gift for), then each person has to email the group with a list (or even just one item) of things that they would like with a maximum value of R250 (about USD20). Everybody gets one present, it’s something that they want and nobody breaks the bank buying presents for everyone. We don’t include the children in this, as we all like to buy them something, but all the adults seem to like it, we’ve been doing it for 4 years now.

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