After years of putting together annual holiday gift guides, this year I decided against it.
I frankly think we have way too much stuff. Myself included.
Do we really need that holiday bundled beauty nail polish set when we already have six similar colours one shade darker? Another cute sweater to add to our ever-growing wardrobe? The latest piece of tech that will just become obsolete by next xmas anyway?
This may make me sound like the ultimate Christmas Grinch, but hear me out. I am not opposed to gifts, quite the opposite in fact. I am a BIG fan of gift giving, as its one of my love languages. I take a lot of pride in giving very specific thoughtfully personalized gifts. Do we necessarily need an occasion to gift someone something? No, but the idea of an exchange is an appealing one to me. For example, my best friend asked me what I wanted this year, to which I replied, “can we just take each other out to dinner?” She’s pregnant, so of course I will also be showering her with gifts for her and her little on to be! Another example that I love is a friend told me how she is doing a skill exchange with her roommate, in which she’ll be teaching her how to make kombucha in exchange for being taught how to embroider!
So instead of giving some meaningless material object that they don’t necessarily even want let alone need, think of something that will really improve their life, or the life of others. Here are some ideas;:
Gift an Experience
A travel voucher, a trip, tickets to a show or an event, anything that gives them an experience they’ll always remember rather than a thing they will one day throw away. Enrol them into a course for a skill they’ve had their eye on, or something you know they’d enjoy. It could be a cookie decorating class, or a yoga membership, a photography course, or a digital marketing ebook. Maybe they want to get their dog into some kind of training, or perhaps they’ve always wanted to take their cooking to the next level with a workshop.
Instead of buying, subscribe
I became obsessed with renting clothes a few years ago. I now use brands like Rent the Runway to get trendy pieces for trips or partywear for events, and you can gift someone a subscription plan that allows them to pick out their own faves. There’s also The Sprout Collection for expecting mamas-to-be to rent maternity clothes for the duration of their pregnancy, which I think is genius!
There are endless options for subscription services for every possible solution you can think of – hello, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, Handy, Home Chef, etc.
Donate time or money to a project
Hey, I have one we could use your help on! Support us on this incredibly cool cultural research project called Fading Bloodlines here.
You could also do like my friend did and participate in an exchange of services!
However, if the giftee on your list is asking for something specific, then, by all means, get it for them! I’m just saying, who am I – supposedly a stranger – to tell you what to get someone you know much better than I?
Before we go buying mindless gifts, I’d really encourage you to think about what kind of contribution this gift will be to someone’s lives, the environment, and the greater good! Sometimes, just spending dedicated time with another doing something you all love is the greatest gift of all.