So this is Christmas. What have you done?
The year was 1972 and Vietnam was still three years from being over. The entire political climate in the world was different than now and Lennon/Yono was reminding those who were coming home that each day matters and that as each year passes we should try to be the best versions of ourselves. Those poignant words may find a different context in 2017 but the question remains just as important. This is Christmas friends. What have you done? What are you doing to do? How are you spending your days? What are you investing your time and money in? No matter what your reason for celebrating the holidays you shouldn’t be adding undue stress to yourself. You shouldn’t be working against yourself and compromising your personal thoughts on consumerism. For that, we offer some ways you can make this a very special time of year without buying stuff, breaking the bank, or getting stressed about who to buy what for.
GIVE THE GIFT OF EXPERIENCE
While 6-year olds are probably less impressed by a handmade coupon for a day at the aquarium with both their mom and dad, their seeming disappointment is often trumped by the event itself. To have time with both parents, at a cool location, with fish all around? It is a 6-year old dream! Give experiences, not stuff. A copy of the 25th-anniversary edition of The Little Mermaid on Blu-Ray has nothing on that walk through the shark tunnel at the local aquarium. For the older names on your list consider things they often wouldn’t buy for themselves. Treat them to a manicure or pedicure. Send your dad to opening day at the local ball stadium. Treat your favorite sister-in-law to a month of yoga classes. Memories last forever and the memories made by experiences will make so much more of an impression than a knick-knack or whatcha-ma-jig.
GIVE TO CHARITY
There are so many ways to contribute to your favorite cause now. From donating through Facebook to supporting a GoFundMe, charitable giving has never been as easy as it is in our Internet-driven world. You can give through PayPal or from your VISA debit. You can give in someone’s name – in honor or memory – or you can give because you want to. The point is that helping others is a gift that has no expiration date, no shelf life, and no need for space in your drawers.
Tip: Use Charity Watch to research a charity or find one you would like to contribute to.
Glenmorangie 18-year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky. A Scharffen Berger chocolate bar. Owari Satsumas oranges from Louisianna. What do they all have common? They are the finest in consumable experiences. Why not try giving consumables this Christmas season? A fine bottle of scotch. The best chocolate in the world. Oranges that truly are the nectar of the gods. Maybe you have a smaller budget? Why not a box of Russell-Stover or a couple petit filets from your local rancher? Whatever the gift, make it consumable. It only takes up minimal space for a short amount of time. It evokes emotional experiences. It shows you truly gave thought. And it is incredibly tasty, swallow after swallow!
MAKE YOUR GIFTS
Isn’t it exceedingly special when you receive a handmade gift from someone you care about? It shows the gift giver took the time to create something especially for you, investing both time and energy. It is perhaps one of the most precious gifts one can receive.
GIVE A GIFT CERTIFICATE…or a coupon, if you will
No one truly likes to wash their car, inside and out. No one really cares to knock things off the “honey do” list on their weekends off. Why not give a gift certificate to a virtual assistant-slash-task performer site like Taskrabbit? Better yet, why not make a coupon for one free car wash or one free day of laundry (wash, dry, and fold!)? Giving of your time to help someone complete a task that truly weighs them down is a remarkable gift.
Did we miss something? Do you have a gift you love to give that takes up zero space, evokes a lot of smiles and hugs, and isn’t all that expensive? What is it?