12/09/2011 01:41 pm ET | Updated Feb 08, 2012

WATCH: How to Have a Slow Holiday (or a Buy Nothing Christmas)

My family doesn't buy Christmas gifts and I think because of that our holidays are more festive. Instead of shopping, we sing. Instead of stressing, we play games. And we do a lot of baking and decorating.

Though just because we don't buy gifts doesn't mean we don't give them. They just come from our closets, drawers, imaginations...

My family's rules for giving without shopping

  1. Buying stuff is for non-creative types: the best gifts are those that took thought, not cash.
  2. Shop your closet or drawers: regifting often means vintage or one-of-a-kind presents.
  3. Homemade is priceless: we give mixed CDs to personal gift certificates (for a footrub or dishwashing duty).
  4. You don't need to give something to everybody every year: better to give only when it means something.
  5. If you haven't found something to regift or make, simply write a card and wait for the following year for inspiration.

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