Friday, December 7, 2012

No (Tangible) Gifts Please! -- A Guide

Photo credit Lisel Blossom Sanger McQueen

This time of year it seems the blogs are crowded with gift guides and the like.  The gift guide irks me a little because in our house, we’re trying to become less thing oriented.  Last years gift-age got a little crazy, as we saw our daughters tearing through wrapping paper, demanding more! more! while appreciating nothing.  

Plus we have enough stuff, Dave and I. We have more stuff than we know what to do with.  And I’d imagine that’s the same for lots of us out there.

So this year we’ve decided to keep it small. Keep it simple. The girls are getting some, but fewer presents. And over the next two weeks, I’ll be sporadically offering some non-tangible yet highly gratitifying gifts.

Donate to a Charity



If it is possible, Dave is even more thing-averse than I, and on his insistence we do the majority of gift giving through donations.  At first I fought it, but now I love it. Rather than buy trinkets for everyone on our list,  we take the money we would have spent on presents and we contribute to organizations on our loved ones behalf. We usually choose one local charity and one national charity.  Here’s a list of places we've donated to in the past.  

Gift someone a CSA subscription

CSA stands for community supported agriculture, and it lets you support a local farm by buying produce directly from them on a weekly or semi-weekly basis. One of the great joys of my time at home is being able to get my box of fresh, locally grown veggies delivered to my door via my favorite CSA, Johnson’s Backyard Garden. If you live in Austin, you can easily gift someone the same joy. If you don’t, do a little googling. I bet you have a CSA in your area that would do the same.

Give the Gift of Organization

We could all use some help getting our houses in order, I know I did (and I will be talking about that lots next week.)  Why not buy a friend in need some help indeed?

Give a parent a break

This one requires nothing but a little sweat equity on your part. All parents are struggling with time and exhaustion. All parents want a break, but also know that babysitters cost serious money.  A date night that ends up topping $200 (dinner plus a movie plus a sitter) can seem just not worth it. Gift that harried parent our couple in your life some free babysitting.  You may just see tears of joy.

What about you. Do you have any non-gift gift ideas?


Beth said...

Amen, sister! Great post, and great ideas!

Beth Y said...

Awesome post, and great ideas!