The holidays can feel overwhelming, especially as we consider the costs associated with many of the festivities and gift-giving. Consider how participation in a Buy Nothing group or similar gifting economy in your community could make your holiday a little better. Here are three ways our local Buy Nothing group added dollops of joy to our holiday.
For most of us, the holidays bring with them a bump in our spending. Given our current conditions, spending may even be a little higher this year as we seek out new holiday traditions and splurge to hopefully close out a rough year on a high note.
There are some things about the holidays, however, they don’t have to be expensive. There are a variety of ways to limit spending such as using and gifting secondhand items, giving less expensive and DIY gifts, or simply not participating in all. the. stuff.
One way that we’ve found to make our holiday celebration a wee bit more affordable is the help of our Buy Nothing group. If you’re a regular around the blog, you know I talk about Buy Nothing groups frequently. I’ve had such a great experience gifting and receiving through our Buy Nothing group. So, I’m here to rave again about the ways the gifting economy of our local Buy Nothing group has made our holidays a little happier.
Holiday Cookie Cutters Received In Our Buy Nothing Group
Our Buy Nothing Christmas extravaganza started out with more of a “Christmas in July” spirit. A few months back, I saw another member offer up holiday cookie cutters to the group. I had been contemplating investing in some new holiday cookie cutters but struggled with the idea of spending money and purchasing new items that I would only use once or twice a year. Acquiring these items secondhand and for free through our Buy Nothing group, however, changed the entire formula.
I quickly responded to the gift post and scooped up the cookie cutters just a few hours after receiving confirmation that these fun holiday baking tools were mine. My boys were just as thrilled as I was.
We generally only make and decorate sugar cookies once a year around Christmas. I stashed away the special holiday cookie cutters in our holiday decor box in the basement, and my boys couldn’t wait to get their hands in the sugar cookie dough as soon as these holiday cookie cutters resurfaced from storage.
We made one batch of holiday sugar cookies and left the kitchen in ruins, covered in icing and sprinkles from wall-to-wall. But the boys had a blast, we shared some of the cookies with a friend, and indulged in the extraordinary sweetness for a couple of days after our baking adventure.
Gifting Christmas Decorations Through Buy Nothing Group
Around the same time, I spent a day or two cleaning out a couple of our closets. Buried in the back, I found brand new, unopened holiday decorations I no longer needed. I accepted the sunk cost of the decorations and posted them for sale on Facebook Marketplace. Are you surprised that nobody in July was searching for Christmas decorations? Me neither.
I really didn’t want to hang on to them at the time, though in retrospect it might have been worth the Facebook Marketplace sale I could have made this month if I had waited to sell. Instead, I turned to my trusty Buy Nothing group and posted the items as a gift.
Another neighbor was happy to take them off my hands and pick them up just a day or two after I posted them. I was really happy the holiday decorations I couldn’t use found a happier home where they would be put to good use.
Holiday Puzzles From Buy Nothing Group
Just recently, as we were settling into the doldrums of a deep pandemic winter, I began collecting a few new games and puzzles for the boys. We desperately needed some things to fill the time.
My younger son loves puzzles, so I searched a bit online and landed on … Amazon … with about every search. Although I’m not a fan of Amazon, I’m kind of glad that’s where I ended up. It gave me the kick in the pants to step back and be patient instead of just impulsively ordering something new.
With a renewed perspective, I sent out a request in our Buy Nothing group for 300 – 500 piece puzzles. Within just a few minutes, a neighbor offered three puzzles and we picked them up that evening.
My son was so excited! He even thought they smelled like Christmas… if puzzles can smell like cinnamon and gingerbread? Whatever gets him jazzed.
The first puzzle, of snowmen and penguins at Christmastime, was perfect for the season. It sat on the floor, and we finished it over the course of a couple of days. We did the next two puzzles together a couple of weeks later.
The holidays can be expensive, no doubt. But when we prioritize secondhand items and the gifting economy, it not only saves money but it’s better for the environment. It’s a double win!
How do you use the gifting economy around the holidays? Have you found it helps you to save money or reduce stress?