Turn this year’s holiday shopping list into a fun gift-giving list that reflects the giver’s values and needs for a simpler midwinter season. Avoid the hype of holiday giving and turn to gifts that will have the recipient cherishing the thoughtfulness behind the gift.
No matter the religious persuasion or cultural followings, most recognize that the holidays represent a time to come together with loved ones. Return to the roots of the Winter Solstice, or midwinter season, with thoughtful gifts that represent ethics and the relationship between the giver and the receiver.
Gifts of Time and Service
Have a knack for defragging hard discs? Got a new snow blower? Consider giving the gift of time:
- Let’s meet for tea – brew a pot of tea and invite over a friend for a chat.
- Childcare – offer to watch a loved one’s child(ren) so they can run errands or have a date with their partner.
- Closet swap – get one or more friends together and swap clothing or accessories from the closet, donate unwanted items to a charity after the swap.
- Mother’s helper – give a couple of hours a month to help a mom-friend with anything from cooking to laundry.
Local and Green Gift Giving
Big fan of shopping local? Concerned about the planet’s resources? Keep it green for the holiday season with gifts like:
- Subscription to a local CSA – Community Supported Agriculture shares can be given that will include weekly harvests from a local farm.
- Gift card to a local store – skip the chain stores and shopping malls and give a gift certificate for a locally owned and operated store instead. Got a crafty friend? Consider a gift certificate to the local yarn or bead store!
- Eco gadgets – consider something like a solar cellular phone or charger instead of an energy consuming gadget from the electronics department.
Wellness Gifts for Winter Solstice
Alternatives to the smelly bath salts and perfumes abound. Here are some inspirations for the gift list:
- DeShawn Marie’s Handmade Soap Gift Subscription – send the gift of natural, homemade soaps every month all year long!
- Yes to Carrots – this is a fun line of paraben-free body products inspired by the Dead Sea, available in health stores and retail locations like Target.
- Chakra tea set – available from Stash Tea Company in Oregon this tea collection can be found at health stores.
- Aromatherapy body patches – Vermont’s Naturopatch company has eight different blends available through health stores, spas and wellness practices across the U.S.
Charitable Donations as a Holiday Gift
Donations can be made in the name of a loved one for a charitable organization. Supporting a favorite cause can range from animal protection and rescue centers to environmental action agencies to local homeless shelters.
Some organizations provide a certificate or gift packet that can be sent to the recipient noting funds have been given in their name. This may not work for everyone on the holiday shopping list but it may be popular with friends or relatives that do not want to receive a physical gift to clutter their home.
Reigning in Holiday Gift Giving
Yes, there is such a thing as too many gifts for Christmas. But adopting a simpler approach to giving during the holidays opens up a lot of variety to express thanks and love at midwinter. Homemade gifts, thoughtful cards and simply the gift of time can go a long way to cutting the hype and craze of the holidays.
Have a peaceful holiday season spending quality time with loved ones, not quality time at the shopping mall.