Christmas is less than two weeks away. Have you been killing yourself trying to get all the shopping and wrapping done? Have you spent way too much money at the mall? Do you feel like your gifts aren't very meaningful? Might it be time to hop off the hamster wheel and rethink the tradition of gift-giving?
Here are six ways to give better for the holidays:
1. Give to a charity.
Instead of another mug, box of chocolates or kitchen gadget, think about giving to charity. Make a donation in someone's honor to a favorite non-profit organization or a cause that they believe in. With the awful natural disasters, the US has experienced this past season, many people are still in need of help. There are many charitable organizations you can contribute to help the victims in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, California, and Mexico.
2. Give love.
A loving act of service this time of year would be a welcome present to anyone. Offer to provide childcare to a frazzled family, shovel someone's driveway, or offer to run a few errands for an elder. Another way to give love is to embrace your loved ones. Yes, physically hug them longer and more often during this holiday season. And make it a point to tell important people in your life how much you love them and what they mean to you. There's nothing like heartfelt words of appreciation to warm someone's heart. I love this list on six ways to give unconditional love.
3. Give green gifts.
Instead of spending money on mass-produced gifts that leave big carbon footprints, try to source eco-friendly options. You can literally go green by giving them a plant or potted herb for their kitchen. Go practical with some environmentally friendly cleaning and toiletry products to promote fewer toxins in the home. Or pay for a month's supply of organically grown fruits and vegetables to be delivered to their doorstep. The company Brandless sells quality beauty, home-care, and packaged-food products for $3 or less and for every order that's placed the company donates a meal to the Feeding America food banks.
4. Give something homemade.
Use your crafty talents to gift someone a handmade item. A knitted mug warmer, wooden coaster set or even a home baked pie would brighten someone's day. I, personally, love gifts that have a meaning and story behind them. Michael's has a wonderful page on their website devoted to crafting - ideas for simple popsicle stick ornaments to recipes to jewelry.
5. Give locally made gifts.
So you may not be the crafty type and that's okay! Instead, you can opt to support local businesses and artisans in your community. Why schlep out to the mall or the big box store, when you can buy local. Instead of the Dunkin' Donuts gift card, opt for the neighborhood coffee shop gift card. Forget the cute department store jewelry and pick up some handmade baubles at your church's holiday craft fair.
6. Give experiences.
We hear this time and time again, but it's true. We remember events and experiences more than we remember physical items and objects. And the memory of the experience stays with us a lot longer than the latest coffee maker. This time of year is ripe with concerts, shows, special museum exhibits, sporting events, etc. I am super excited to be taking my son on the Polar Express! A local railroad company offers steam train rides to pick up Santa at the North Pole complete with mugs of cocoa, twinkle lights, and costumed characters.
How will you give better this holiday season?