This year you can resolve to have a greener, cheaper, more meaningful holiday season through alternative giving! Instead of just going to the mall and spending more than you should, be creative by creating your own original presents, purchasing green products that express your values, or making a donation in someone’s name. Here are some suggestions.
- Shop at the People’s Church Holiday Bazaar on November 18 where you will find lots of interesting arts and craft items. This supports local artists as well as People’s Church. And don’t forget the white elephant sale where you can find unique and repurposed items.
- Give your time rather than things as a gift. Do someone else’s household chores for a time or give childcare coupons. Those would be inexpensive presents with great value to the recipient.
- Give one of your favorite things or a special book that you have enjoyed to someone that you know will enjoy it also.
- If you’re skilled at crafts or like to cook or bake, you could make presents. But be sure to start early enough that it doesn’t add to the holiday crush.
- Donations make wonderful presents for people who really don’t need anything. But you should find a source that has special meaning for that person. Many non-profits have creative donation ideas, as well as the many local organizations to choose from.
- Donations can be great gifts for children too. One grandmother started giving a Heifer International animal to her grandchild when she was two. When she was school age, the grandmother would pick a country and make up a story to go along with the Heifer card. She would ask the grandchild what animal she would like to give every year. This is one of the favorite traditions that these two still share.
- There are many, many other paid options like OxFam, World Wildlife Fund, or Save the Children. Choose something that you know will be meaningful to the recipient. Look at buynothingchristmas.org if you need more ideas.
You will find that giving and receiving alternative gifts is an effective way to channel the true holiday spirit and help your environment at the same time.