How to Politely Say No To Christmas Gifts
If you are anything like me, I am sure you hate mindless Christmas and New Years presents. Buying for buying sake is so not us. Holidays are for unwinding, relaxing, celebrating family and sharing joy.
But how do you say no to all the excess without being labelled the Christmas grinch?
I am no expert in turning down a christmas gift, I still receive the occasional holiday present and feel pressured to buy gifts for friends and family but I am getting better at speaking my truth.
Here are a few ideas I have used and will keep on using to reduce my consumption over the holidays.
1. Be honest about not wanting gifts.
“Oh we don’t need anything for Christmas” can easily come off as a nicety that is meant to be ignored. If you really would prefer no gifts try explaining your feelings. Something along the lines of;
“We have made a conscious effort to keep our home decluttered and calm this year, hence there is no need to buy us physical gifts. It would mean a lot to me if we could skip the presents this year.”
2. Back it up with logical reasoning.
During your honest conversation, written or verbal, try to share some logical reasons why no gifts is your true preference this year, i.e.:
I (we) have worked hard to reduce the clutter in our home to make it simpler to live in so I want to keep it that way
We want to help our kids learn the true meaning of Christmas and family time by taking the focus off the presents
I have a sustainable footprint goal and less gifts will really help me reach it
I don’t want to feel the pressure to reciprocate
3. Offer alternatives for gift-givers.
Telling a gift-giver not to hand over a present during the holidays might be the wrong thing to do, especially if it is their way of expressing love.
A great way to help gift-givers feel as though they can still show their love and appreciation is to offer an alternative. Suggest locking in a lunch or evening togther, a homemade meal or a restaurant booking; giving the opportunity to create memory-gifts.
Suggest an evening together.
If they still want something to wrap, suggest a homemade gift, edible or otherwise. Ask for a card, a handwritten letter of a memory or sentiment. You could even request a photo that can be added to a fridge for young children to remember and learn family members through faces not gifts.
Suggest a homemade gift, edible or otherwise.
5. Have the conversation early.
Many people like to get their Christmas shopping “out of the way”. Many gift-givers will have started thinking of present ideas already. To avoid the awkward “I’ve already got you something” response it is important to have the conversation with those people early.
And if none of that works at least you have given it your best shot and maybe next year they will be more responsive.