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Pledge To Simplify the Holidays

posted Nov 15, 2011, 6:39 AM by Dawn Mogren


* Required

This year, I pledge to use the following strategies to simplify my holidays (choose FIVE or more!): * To complete the Challenge, commit to at least FIVE actions. Feel free to write in your own under "Other" as well!
  • GIVE THE GIFT OF TIME by creating your own gift card for a service (e.g., babysitting, carwashing, petsitting, chores, making dinner, organizing an outing).
  • GIVE A HANDMADE GIFT like a memoir of cherished memories with that person, a book of family recipes, a collage of pictures and mementos, or a calendar filled with the birthdays and anniversaries of friends and family.
  • OFFER TO TEACH A SKILL YOU POSSESS (e.g., knitting, photography, computer skills, financial planning, a foreign language, music lessons, canning tomatoes, cooking a favorite recipe).
  • CONSIDER LESS GIMMICKY, LESS COMMERCIAL GIFTS for children, such as arts/crafts supplies, books, a magnifying glass, or building blocks.
  • CREATE A PAPERLESS HOLIDAY LETTER on the computer and email it to friends and family. If you do send cards by mail, make your own cards or buy cards made from 100% recycled materials.
  • HAVE A WHITE ELEPHANT PARTY at the office instead of a traditional gift exchange, where each person brings a wrapped secondhand item in good condition, or do a cookie exchange.
  • DRAW NAMES IN YOUR FAMILY FOR GIFT-GIVING (for extra fun and surprise, make it "Secret Santas"), so that you can put more time and thought into one gift instead of having to give to several people.
  • SHOP FOR USED ITEMS for all or most of your holiday gifts (e.g., local thrift store, Craigslist, Freecycle, used products on Amazon or eBay).
  • SHARE THE GIFT OF MUSIC by caroling, and include visits to elderly neighbors or a nursing home. Or, gather friends and family for an in-home holiday sing-a-long.
  • GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY by preparing care packages for the homeless, or volunteering at an organization to help those in need during the holiday season.
  • ADOPT A "LESS IS MORE" ATTITUDE toward holiday decorating. Opt for natural trimmings such as clippings from local evergreens and holly bushes.
  • SAVE PAPER by wrapping gifts in newspaper comics, junk mail, paper bags decorated with markers, old maps, phone books, or other reused paper.
  • PREPARE YOUR HOLIDAY MEALS with as many seasonal, locally grown, and/or organic foods as possible.
  • REDUCE JUNK MAIL by removing your name from mailing lists of unwanted holiday catalogs. For more tips on how to do this, go to
  • CELEBRATE BUY NOTHING DAY on November 25 (see and spend that day doing community service, visiting an elderly friend, or helping a neighbor.
  • Other: