Gifts That Go Away

I’ve spent a lot of time this year minimizing our possessions and simplifying our home. And aside from a few quirky cosmetic flaws, our house is finally just how we want it. With the holidays and my birthday approaching, I hope the people in my life will help me keep it that way…

I greatly appreciate the gifts I’ve been given in my life. When someone gives me a gift, it means they care about me, and it feels good to be loved. But I’m at a point now where I don’t want anymore stuff.  

I never expect anything from anyone, on any occasion. Your presence in my life is a present in itself. But if you ever want to give me a gift, I would love to receive unpackaged soap or a gift certificate to your favorite bakery or restaurant. (And I always love a good IPA!)

We reflect the same near-o waste/minimalist philosophy when we give giftsThis year our gifts to friends, family, and the kids’ teachers have included reusable grocery bags, beer, unpackaged soap, homemade body scrub, bulk snacks (in a glass jar), gift certificates, and spending cash.

Stocking up for the year. Record soap-buying, no doubt.

And for kids’ birthdays, we’ve given a homemade chemistry set, homemade masks, homemade play dough, and gift certificates for ice cream and the climbing gym.

Acidic and basic substances to mix with purple cabbage water (cabbage was included). Enjoy the experiment, then reuse or recycle the jars.
Masks made with felt I had on hand; inviting imagination without packaging.
I leave you with some wise words from my former employer: “If you ask for what you want, you just might get it.”

9 thoughts on “Gifts That Go Away

  1. Inge November 17, 2015 / 5:26 am

    It takes some courage to write such a post. I’ve been pushing the same one out here as well. I’d like to write it but don’t seem to find the right words. Good for you that you’ve managed to do it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. packageless November 17, 2015 / 5:33 am

    Definitely a good point you have going here. Hope your holiday season goes well, with the experiences and relationships that do matter much more (:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amanda Chapman November 17, 2015 / 5:41 am

    I agree with Inge, presents are such an awkward thing to bring up and explain! I love the kids masks & the chemistry kits!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Danielle @ No Need For Mars November 17, 2015 / 11:57 pm

    I’ve been figuring out how to communicate this to my family. I doubt most of them will follow my requests, but I’m proud to know that my mother told me “I didn’t buy you wrapping paper for your gifts this year, and I’m trying really hard to not buy you crap that you won’t use.” Yay!


    • Near-O Waste November 18, 2015 / 1:30 am

      Good job, Mom! (Great quote!) Fortunately, our families aren’t too big on exchanging Christmas gifts, but with birthdays and being a teacher, I really want to put the message out there, and I’m thinking people will catch on and I will become less uncomfortable with sharing my thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sustnstephanie November 18, 2015 / 1:58 am

    Unfortunately, my mom doesn’t understand WHY I’m doing the zero waste thing (and doesn’t think it’s necessary…ugh), but luckily she doesn’t buy me anything I don’t want, I just have to be really explicit about what she’s allowed to buy me.


  6. Julia Anduiza November 19, 2015 / 9:03 am

    Amazing.. definitely brave to write a post. I think Christmas is a great way to instil your knowledge and experience with zero waste onto others.

    I have definitely been less materialistic this year than most years. All I ask this year are zero-waste/natural cosmetics and beauty products and some stainless steel containers… I hope Santa obeys!

    Liked by 1 person

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