Alternative Giving 2019

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, create your own original presents, purchase green products that express your values, or make a donation in someone’s name. Use your imagination!

  • Give your time rather than things. Do someone else’s household chores for a month or give babysitting coupons. Those would be inexpensive presents with great meaning and value to the recipient.
  • If you’re skilled at crafts or like to cook or bake, make your presents. But be sure to start early enough that it doesn’t add to the holiday crush.
  • Give one of your favorite things, tickets to an event, or a special book that you have enjoyed to someone that you know will enjoy it also.
  • If you love entertaining, give someone a Ground Hog Day party or celebrate the Chinese New Year to take some of the time pressure off the traditional holiday season.
  • Donations make wonderful presents for people who really don’t need anything. But you need to 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. Paws With A Cause trains service and assistance dogs and is headquartered nearby in Wayland. The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee rescues old circus and zoo elephants and gives them a home where they can roam free. Any contribution will make a difference!
  • Donations can be great gifts for children too. One grandmother started giving a Heifer International animal to her grandchild when she was two. When the grandchild 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 each year. This is one of the favorite traditions that these two still share.
  • There are many, many other options like World Wildlife Fund , SW Michigan Land Conservancy, OxFam, or Save the Children.

You will find that giving and receiving alternative gifts is an effective way to channel the true holiday spirit and help our environment or a social cause at the same time. Check out Alternative Gifts International if you need ideas.

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