Simplify the Holidays

UPDATE! Our Simplify the Holidays program will soon find a home within the Population and Sustainability Program at the Center for Biological Diversity, guided by the leadership of Kelley Dennings, former New Dream fellow and current Advisory Council member. We are confident that New Dreamers will enjoy connecting more dots between over-consumption, conservation, and species health and diversity. Learn more about this transition on our blog. In the meantime, you’ll still find all of New Dream’s holiday resources below. Happy holidays!

Want your holidays wrapped in more meaning—and less stuff?

From Valentine's Day to the pre-Christmas frenzy, are you tired of the commercialization of your most cherished holiday celebrations?
Do you want more of what matters—not just more stuff?

With our Simplify the Holidays campaign, New Dream is here to help you get started.

GUIDE: Family Celebrations: A More Fun, Less Stuff Guide to Life's Joyful Events

Our newest guide provides inspiration and practical tips for you to plan special celebrations that reduce waste and expense, emphasize meaning over material goods, and strengthen relationships. With specific sections on: The Year-End Holidays, Birthday Parties, Baby Showers, and Community-Building Celebrations.

CATALOG: More Fun Less Stuff Gift Catalog – 100s of fun, low-cost, non- material gift ideas you can use today!

An alternative gift catalog for those who want to wrap their holidays in more of what matters—meaning, connection, and joy—and less of what doesn’t (stuff, stress, and waste). Categories include gifts for kids, spouses/partners, parents/grandparents, young adults, new parents, and the whole family.

SoKind – the "alternative" gift registry

SoKind allows you to create fully customizable wish lists focused less on "stuff" and more on family, fun, and friends. Or, create a GiveList—rather than requesting gifts, you can offer loved ones meaningful gifts that align with your values and skills!

This Holiday, Opt for Giving Over Receiving

Rather than making a typical wish list of items to receive this holiday, why not create a list of gifts you want to give to your family and friends? We've made it easy for you to create your own "GiveList" on SoKind, our alternative gift registry!

Christmas Is About Presence, Not Presents

New Dream Youth Fellow Sarah Allison shares her experience and faith-based values around keeping the Christmas holiday focused on transformation and healing.

The Gift of Connecting with the Past

New Dreamer Moira Silva shares the experience of creating a truly meaningful gift for her family: the gift of interviewing her great aunt.

COUPON BOOK: New Dream's Printable Coupon Book – a template for giving customized coupons to family & friends

Give gifts of time, experience, and memories—not more stuff! New Dream's Printable Coupon Book is an easy-to-use template that you can print out, customize, and give to family and friends of all ages.

GUIDE: Simplify the Holidays – practical tips for having a holiday with more joy and less stuff

Simplify the Holidays offers practical tips for having a holiday with more joy and less stuff. The booklet contains guidance to help you set a budget, relieve stress, come up with new gift ideas, and make your holiday season more meaningful.

SLIDES: Simplify the Holidays Presentation – a pre-packaged slideshow for presenting in your community!

We've created a set of pre-packaged slides that you can use to make presentations in your community. This comprehensive slideshow offers tips and ideas for celebrating the year-end holidays in a less-stressful, more meaningful, and simpler way.

TIPS: 15 Tips for Commercial-Free, Fun-Filled Family Holidays

If you want to make this year’s holidays more meaningful, memorable, and rejuvenating for your family, these 15 tips will help you opt out of the commercial hype and create a truly special celebration for your kids. 

Avoiding the Trap of Holiday Consumerism

New Dream Youth Fellow Isaiah Johnson details the true costs of holiday consumerism and outlines five things you can do to avoid its traps.

VIDEO: Simplify the Holidays – share this with your loved ones to kickstart a conversation (5 min.)

Looking for a friendly way to express your desire to simplify the holidays? Share this video with your loved ones to kickstart a conversation that doesn't leave you feeling like the Grinch.  

CALENDAR: Simplify the Holidays – count down to the holidays with more joy and less stress!

Our online six-week calendar provides practical tips, interactive quizzes, real stories, and personal inspiration to help you simplify the holidays.

TIPS: Reader Submissions: How I Simplify the Holidays

We asked our readers for their ideas for simplifying the holidays, and the response was overwhelming! Here are some of our favorite tips.

ACTION KIT: Alternative Gift Fairs 101

Alternative Gift Fairs are a way to promote the gift-giving tradition of the holiday season without the wastefulness and commercialization of conventional shopping. Our resources include a step-by-step guide (including a timeline) to hosting a meaningful event that celebrates your values and supports important charities this holiday season.