24 Ways to Hack the Holidays

This year, do holidays the Cotopaxi way, with meaningful gifts, stress-free shopping, creative traditions, and more hacks.


1. My mother and I bake our favorite sugar cookies. They are delicious and a sweet touch for the holidays. @amble-with_amy

2. We only exchange stocking stuffers and no presents. This takes off the pressure of the holidays and extravagant gift giving. Plus, it is fun (especially if you add in the element of secret Santa)! @dagny1113

3. I mail/order my gifts far in advance. Planning ahead can feel daunting, but I avoid hefty shipping costs and the stress of expedited mailing so I can focus on spending time with friends and family during the holidays. @the_behe



4. Wrap gifts in paper grocery bags or packing paper from things you’ve ordered in the past. Throughout the year, we save packaging, boxes and paper from other items so that we can repurpose as wrapping paper. @wheres_marcy

5. If you bought something at a Cotopaxi store, repurpose your Cotopaxi shopping bag to wrap up your gifts. 

6. Got a hard-to-shop-for person on your list? Instead of getting something that’ll end up in the trash, make a donation on their behalf to a cause they care about. If helping those experiencing poverty is a passion of theirs, you can donate to the Cotopaxi Foundation, which supports vetted nonprofits working toward a more equitable planet for all.  

7. For gifts within your family, invest in reusable, cloth gift wrap instead of buying the disposable kind year after year. 

8. Give gifts that give back from a nonprofit, a B Corp, or a business that donates some of its revenue, like 1% for the Planet

9. Ask them what they want. Rather than picking something they may already have or getting the wrong color/size, you can save the hassle and packaging waste involved in returns/exchanges. @eternally.nomadic



10. Instead of purchasing something new, upgrade something they already have, whether that’s framing a photo, or having something like an instrument, jewelry, or artwork restored. 

11. I make monkey bread on Christmas morning. It is a lot of fun for whoever is up to join in and not only brings family and friends together, but smells and tastes great. @betsy814

12. Make your friends a fresh veggie box filled iwith locally grown, organic produce. @marrioo



13. Are you reading this on December 24 and still haven't ticked off everyone on your list? Digital gift cards are last-minute lifesavers. 

14. They might not be the most fun gifts to give, but functional gifts won’t go to waste or end up in a junk drawer. @msstephdeal

15. It’s a little-known fact that Christmas morning can be one of the best times to ski during the year, especially if it’s a powder day. Throw on your baselayers and get out on the mountain before you start opening gifts. 


mariveles duffel bag


16. Give something truly unique. I love gifting anything Del Día because they are one-of-a-kind colors and made from repurposed materials. My favorite is the Mariveles duffelit’s a great gym/yoga/travel bag and super easy to wash. @li.zlato

17. Check the return policy, especially if you're buying apparel, to make sure the gifts you're buying can be returned or exchanged. (Here's the Cotopaxi return/exchange policy.) 

18. I make little dog treats and put them in bags. Around the holidays, I hand them out to others as a small random act of kindness. @jsea31



19. We book our travel on the actual holiday—this helps us not only save money, but also saves us the chaos of the airport and busy roads! @withourweekends

20. Save the potential headache of losing your checked luggage during holiday travel and go light with a carry-on-compatible bag like the Allpa 35L Travel Pack.

21. Handwritten letters are a way to show gratitude for those around us who are working extra hard during the holiday season. A little card can go a long way. 


22. I love making Bailey’s from scratch and a few different cookies and candies to give to friends and family over the holiday season. @silverismaya 

23. Pull a Clark Griswold for real and cut down your own Christmas tree in a national forest (with a permit). —Kat 

24. Rather than buying gifts, we donate and exchange. One of our favorite family traditions is to go on a walk around our neighborhood and visit free book exchange “libraries.” We bring some of our favorites to leave and take one for us to keep! @bradleedalenorthwest



Searching for some gifts that give back? Check out our Holiday Gift Guide, where you can shop by adventure or by price—or find some time-tested best-sellers. To get your gifts in time, order by December 8 with standard ground shipping, and by December 16 with 2-day shipping to ensure delivery by December 24.