~This is a repost from two years ago, but it is still definitely applicable. I feel even more strongly now about reducing the amount of material junk in our lives and making sure the things that we own are quality items that will last for a long time.~
I guess we are almost in it folks, that time of year again. The Season of Giving. Before the manic shopping event known as Black Friday occurs next week, I'd like to share some ideas for holiday giving that do not involve just buying stuff.
-This post, written by Nourishing Minimalism, and shared on FB by Svenna of Stitch and Purl, caught my attention. I have already shared it on FB, but wanted to share it here also. It offers great gift ideas that take the focus off of a material "thing". Memberships to museums, magazine subscriptions, paying for art or dance classes, making a coupon booklet for special outings, are just several of the ideas that are suggested. It is a really great list!
-Buy from local businesses when possible. Yes, they might be more expensive than the chain stores, but that is where the idea of quality, rather than quantity comes into play. Does your grandchild need 5 new books or can you buy 2 from the local bookstore and then take him on a lunch date that involves a stop at the library? ~Or purchase used books on Ebay or Amazon. There are great "old fashioned" books available for kids that are not available at the big box stores.
-Support companies that are using their profits to make a positive change in the world. Patagonia is a favorite of my husband and I. Yes, they are expensive, but that expense is the true cost of making a sustainable garment. They are one of the few major companies that are walking, talking, and manufacturing in a way that my husband and I agree with. Their newest initiative, to use goose down from geese that were never force-fed or live plucked is one that I am thrilled to support (when I need a new coat). If you're not familiar with how conventional down gets from a live goose to inside your puffy coat or pillow, check this out. (It is not graphic or gruesome, just informative.) ~I also support Patagonia because they actively encourage their customers to either repair an item themselves or send it back to Patagonia to have it repaired, and to buy used Patagonia clothing (search on Ebay), rather than to buy a brand new item.
-When I can't find shoes at the local kids thrift store for the little babe, TOMS is where I shop. For each pair of shoes purchased, they donate a pair to a child in need. The shoes are good quality, they have fun designs, and how can you find fault with putting shoes on a child's feet? If you're interested in finding out more, click here. (Their pink glitter shoes were a big hit in this house!)
-If you would like to put your money to good use for somebody in need, you can make a donation to Heifer International. Based on the "teach a man to fish" concept, Heifer doesn't simply give money to people in need. They provide them with an animal that will not only provide their family with food, but also a source of income. A cow will provide them with enough milk for their family's needs and they can sell the excess. This money can be used for their children's education or for starting a business. Each family is required to "pass on the gift" by giving the animal's offspring to another family, so your donation could kickstart a better life for an entire village.
-Not that I need to tell many of you crafty readers this, but if you enjoy making things, give them as gifts! Since knitting is very en vogue now, get your needles out and start purling! Maybe your dog-loving parents would appreciate a hand-sewn dog bed for their beloved furry family member. For your chocoholic friend, make her several types of hot chocolate mixes. Think outside the chain store gift box.
*I am NOT affiliated with or receiving compensation from any of the organizations and companies listed in this post.