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(Imagine „Jingle Bells“ to sound in the background.)

Christmas. A celebration of love and compassion, when we bethink of the real important things in life and of the people who might not have such a blessed life as we have, when we´re looking forward to gather the whole family on Christmas eve…


… after we’ve been close to heart attacks the weeks before because of all that gift hunting stress, more pressure than pleasure. In both ways: Finding the right and receiving the wrong gift. Merry Christmas!


Just another occasion that circles around presents, besides all the birthdays, weddings, valentines day, mother´s day, easter and anniversaries. To be honest, no one really needs as much as there are occasions to get something for. Our homes are already overstuffed with sneakers, smoothie makers, hair straighteners and blue tooth radios, but we still go with the flow of the excessive gift hunting madness.

But for what exactly?

Even surprise isn`t included anymore, because the whole wishing-giving-process goes like this:

– Hey, what do you want for Christmas?

– Hmm…. I´d like to have this cool sandwich maker. What do you wish for?

– Hmm… There´s this new cool sneaker, which I´d like to have in blue.

– Ok.

– Ok.

*Christmas coming, both find their presents under the tree, already knowing what’s inside: sandwich maker and sneaker. What a surprise!*

*Three days later, both got to the mall to exchange gifts: Sandwich maker of another brand is better, sneakers fit better in another size.*

So, why are presents still so relevant for Christmas, not to say THE central point of it? Sure, you get some new stuff that you’d be happy about for three days. But you also spend a lot of money and stress on things that others are happy about for only three days. Worth it?

We already know the Christmas experience is more about drinking mulled wine together, gathering the whole family, laughing, eating and with a bit of luck the snowball fight outside? Ok going a little bit of too romantic right now. But we all can agree, that the sandwich maker (or lint shaver or shampoo collection) isn´t the coolest thing on Christmas, right?

Why can´t we skip or at least change that gift thing?

There are a lot of surprise options that don´t include buying new useless (or „useful for three days“) junk.

How about the earrings that your best friend always told you she likes so much and you don´t wear them that often anyway, or a self-made cake, or just a photo of you and your sister which you have on your smartphone since ever and finally print it out? Or remember those vouchers you used to give to your parents when you we´re a kid? It´s retro now. Give them also to your friends and partners. And make sure they won´t forget to redeem it – as your parents did 🙂

We all know that experiences make people more happy than owning new stuff – so why don’t you gift your friends a home-made dinner, a walk in the park – check out some ideas on this site.

If you love the package opening-ritual, why don’t you do the the secret Santa with friends, which still is the funniest option of gifting: Everyone brings something, that he or she doesn’t need anymore. Which most of the time is so crap, you can laugh yourself silly: an old glittering teddybear (who doesn’t want it in the apartment for decoration), an old CD-Rom with a tax software on it or High School Musical 3 on Blu Ray Disc. Best present ever, right?

I know, it´s also not the stuff you really need. But the cool thing is: You spend an evening with your friends laughing your ass off together and already have your secret Santa gift for next year. Or with a bit of luck you really like High School Musical 3 😉

And there will be even more „Buy nothing“-ideas during MAKE SMTHNG Week. So don´t miss the events around the globe. Or in other words:

Stay away from the mall & join the MAKE SMTHNG-Crawl.


Sophie loves chickpeas, raccoons, vintage shops and people who are changing our world with their ideas and projects, so we all can enjoy it in the future. This is exactly what sustainability means for her: Treating the world in such a way that future generations can live a life as wild as we do.

Her blog “Helllaut” features people, ideas and steps into this direction.

Follow her on Instagram to keep in touch