I’m done with traditional holiday gifts.
I’d rather walk barefoot over broken glass than battle traffic to drive to the mall and then hunt for a parking space and then deal with crowds to buy a gift that someone may not enjoy or even trash.[Deep breath].
Because of this, I’ve turned to sex.
Okay, it’s actually SECs.
In other words, earth friendly holiday gifts.
A really simple — and familiar — way to avoid traveling to the store is to give the gift of services or experiences by ordering gift cards online or making one yourself. I realize shopping online isn’t new. And gift cards aren’t new. I’m talking about the type of gift card.
Services are anything from a massage to a facial to a house cleaning. Or, you can gift your own services like a lesson on how to use Twitter, kid sitting, or yard maintenance. If you like to organize, offer your over-extended brother who works from home the gift of organizing files and office supplies in his home office for an afternoon. If you like to plan celebrations, offer your mother-in-law event planning services for her upcoming anniversary party, and if you like to declutter, give the gift of cleaning out a room for a day to your sister who just became a mom for the first time. These gifts don’t cost a thing except for your time. Just create your own gift certificate. It’s easy!
Experiences can range from dinner out to sporting event tickets or a concert. But you don’t have to spend money. An experience can be as simple as heading to a free museum or taking a hike. I used to do this with my nieces. I’d give them a gift certificate to Spend a Day with Aunt Lori and they could pick and choose activities to do for the day. Yes, they picked typical experiences such as going to the movies but we also attended a college women’s basketball game and took a hike in a National park. The memory — and images of the experiences — will far outlast any tangible thing I could give them.
Now I realize that for some of us, giving a tangible thing — something you can feel, touch, smell — is important. In this case, consider the gift of consumables such as food, booze, soap, and candles because they get consumed and there is little or no waste. If you can, support a local store that you can reach by walking. You’ll get exercise and the fresh air will calm you. If driving is the only option, I bet the parking experience with your local merchant will be easier than at the mall. You can always shop online, too, while listening to pleasant music and sipping a beverage that is a good de-stresser (herbal tea, wine from a local vineyard). We like to support local businesses (within 100 miles of our home), but if we don’t have the opportunity to travel to that business, I check that businesses’s web site to see if I can make purchases online. If I can’t find gifts online from a local company, I try to support a company in our region — or at least in this country — to cut down on transportation costs and carbon emissions.
For more information and ideas, watch our video 3 Foolproof Gift Tips.
Have you changed your holiday buying habits over the years? What are your favorite gifts to give? I’d love to know. Please share the in the comments section below.