Christmas Gift Ideas to Make Life Better…for Your Family

Because of the influences of several really great people, most notably Joshua Becker, I’ve been instituting minimalism as a part of my life. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to sell everything and move into a cardboard box. It just means that you make conscious choices about what you buy, have, and do.

On that note, I’d like to do my part to make the most consumer driven holiday of the year perhaps a little something more. I’ll have a series of posts leading up to the big day to hopefully encourage something new for you this year.

What if this year, instead of buying everyone in your family a bunch of stuff you don’t need, you bought better quality stuff to replace broken or used up items that you really do use?

Here’s a few examples from my own home…

Shelving- Over the years I’ve spent a lot of money on really cheap shelves. I’m talking shelves for heavy stuff like books or large boxes of hand-me-down clothes for my four kids to grow into. Because of that, I, at one time, had a really nice collection of warped, sagging, scuffed, ugly shelves that needed replacing quite often. This year, we tossed out all the trash and bought some nice metal shelves that more than hold their weight and should last us through a few moves and many years with the kids.

Comforter- My wife and I have a comforter on our bed that we actually use for warmth and not just decoration. My mom bought it for us when  we got married well over a decade ago. Now, it’s threadbare all over and a lot of the stuffing has disappeared. I think most of the wear and tear is from family wrestling matches on the bed. We haven’t bought a new one yet, but this would be a gift we could buy ourselves and be okay with. My inner geek wants one of these Harry Potter ones.

Chucky also likes crawling under it when I’m not home.

Chucky_My Home Now

Shoes- My 11yo just wore out another pair of hand-me-down shoes on the eve of basketball season. Used shoes tend to wear out pretty quick and seldom last beyond one, maybe two, of my kids, before they’re unservicable. As part of his Christmas gift my son got some decent Nikes yesterday. Not the Air Jordans he really wanted but some good ones nonetheless. Even better, I waited to get my new shoes at the same time so we could take advantage of the buy one get one half off sale.

Here he is hanging out with former pro basketball star Willis Johnson.

Abishai-Willis Johnson-basketball

Chairs- We go through kitchen chairs really fast for a couple of reasons. number one is that they’re not just for eating at the table. Our table is also our homeschool classroom, so the chairs get constant use. Secondly, the chairs also often get extra duty to build forts or serve as barricades for Nerf gun battles. I just bought two more really nice dining chairs at Ikea last weekend to replace our worn out ones. At $49 a pop, it was a bargain. We already have two that have lasted for years, They’re also really nice looking and incredibly light. I’ll likely buy two more sometime this year as we have two more old chairs to wear out first. Even though I go a few pounds over their weight rating, they’ve held up wonderfully.

Extra bonus…as I carried the chairs down to the car to haul off to the dumpster my neighbor wanted them, so I carried them over to her garage.

These are just a few ideas, but take the opportunity to look around tghe house and replace things instead of just cluttering up with the new.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


Simplify by Joshua Becker

Metal Shelves

Harry Potter comforter

Custom Air Jordans (can you believe how cool this is?)

Ikea dining chairs


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