During my time writing for Backwash (Hippiegrrl Explains It All – archived here), I wrote many posts on holiday shopping and alternatives to giving store bought, big box stuff. Over the years, the writer and I have tried many alternative ways of shopping (or not shopping) for the holidays. Taking the handmade pledge, pushing ourselves and others to buy local, participating in buy nothing day and culminating in an actual buy nothing christmas in 2010. The underlying urge to change the holiday season has been pushed along by our economic status, but the outcome has made the holidays more enjoyable.
Instead of focusing on buying tons of things and rushing around at the last minute, we have been able to take a step back and breathe. Here are a few ideas that we have come up with that you might like to try. They will make your holiday season more meaningful and less stressful. And after all, shouldn’t spending time with family and friends during this time of year really be the priority anyway?
– Framing a picture that I find in my collection and wrapping it up for someone whom it will be meaningful.
– Baking a batch of cookies and packaging them up in a lovely way for the receiver.
– Making a piece of jewellery that is one-of-a-kind and speaks to the style of the person who will wear it.
– Giving a donation to a charitable organization in the name of the person receiving the gift.
– Creating a coupon book of your time. Each coupon gives the receiver the ability to cash in on your time. For example – “this coupon entitles you to 1 hour of help in your garden!”
The best part of the holidays, by far, is the ability to gather with loved ones and friends. That is my favourite gift of all. The gift of time spent with people that enjoy each others company. If we could all have more of that, the whole year could be a lot better.
Enjoy your holiday season and try to remain as stress-free as possible. Remember that it isn’t about what you give or receive. The memories that are made are priceless.
Peace – Chantale