The holidays are upon us and soon we will all be shuffling around trying to get the perfect gift for family, friends, teachers, neighbors and whoever else you are feeling spirited towards. It's easy to get caught up in the commercialization and just getting something quick for it to be done. But that's not the point, is it? The holidays are a time to slow down, appreciate what you have, and to surround yourself with the people you love. Take that same effort in giving gifts. This is a quick guide on how to re-frame your holiday perspective and how to be more thoughtful in your gifting.
Wife: If your wife is a mom, chances are she needs some time to herself. Pamper her with a Saturday afternoon to get her hair done, a Wednesday evening to have a happy hour with girlfriends and a favorite bottle of wine with her choice for movie night. If your wife is not a mom, she will still love getting her hair done, a night out with the girls and a wine movie night of her choice. Also this hoodie - every purchase =10 trees planted. (*hint hint babe).
Husband: Dads need time too. Often, they neglect their social life and need some time to themselves. Get them tickets or a ticketmaster gift card for a game/concert that they can bring a friend. Also, there are lots of cool companies that are making shoes and clothes out of recycled products - check out Proof eyewear- they sustainably source materials and consider themselves global citizens.
Your Mom/ Grandma: Sentimental always scores and guaranteed she will love a family date. Take her to dinner, a reason to get dressed up and spend time together. A play or museum exhibit is a fun way to do something new and spend quality time together. I don't have any studies to back this up, but grandma's spend a lot of time on social media, protect their phones with a cool recycled case. Also, I recently wrote about my love of wreaths- they are a great gift! Natural, beautiful and the gift that gives all season long! Even if they live far away, every time they open their front door, they will think of you!
Your Dad/ Grandpa: This is a tough one for me for personal reasons…but also I feel like dads really run the spectrum of different! Outdoorsy, sporty, tech geeks- maybe a combo? A refillable growler and giftcard to brewery or a bottle of something nice from a local distillery is thoughtful, useful and plastic-free! If you are fortunate to live local- quality time- take your dad to dinner and reconnect. Chances are you haven't sat down and just talked. Pick his favorite restaurant and have a nice night out.
Brother: Concert tickets, natural shaving products, a cool bag. Here is a roundup of ethically made and sustainably sourced backpacks. This right here might be my most favorite. Every backpack is made with plastic pulled from the ocean and every purchase removes an additional 5lbs of plastic from the ocean! Their backpacks have solar charging capability and anti-theft protection. Whoa.
Kids: Unless you are raising a monk for a child, it’s near impossible to not give gifts or get away with homemade bath salts. They are young and the holidays are and should be magical. That’s the fun of it! Just try to focus on quality, not quantity and remember the reason for the season- whether that’s religion or family or traditions. The holidays are a special time, where you should try to slow down and enjoy the moment. Perhaps, have a few special gifts and then fill the season with special moments instead of things: ice skating as a family; getting cocoa at a coffee shop and drink it out of mugs while playing a game; see a movie at the theatre and do a Christmas camp-out in the living room by the tree.
Sister/Best Friend: Makeup and beauty products! This is a gift guide by Tarte, a cruelty-free company that formulates all their products without parabens and sulfates. Luxury CBD oil cause everyone needs a little calm in their life. This stuff smells soooo good:
Niece/Nephew: Activity! Take your niece out for a manicure; steal your nephew away for an afternoon of bowling. These are the things they will treasure. Spending time with you.
Neighbor: A bag of homemade, frozen cookie dough balls- ready to bake. Who doesn’t want access to fresh baked cookies at the end of the day?? Our sister-in-law gave us a bag of frozen cookie balls just because, and it was magical- because I dislike baking. (Another hint put out into the universe)
Teacher: I am going to be real with you- your teacher does not want a homemade gift from your child. They have at least 20 kids in every class, every year and are not saving that macaroni necklace or bedazzled pencil holder. Quite honestly, they want and need money. Any amount is going to be helpful and will never be discounted. Write a sweet note and slip 5, 10, 20 bucks or as much as you feel charitable in the envelope. And save that “vase” for grandma 😉
Literally ANYONE with a child: A date night; a few hours to run an errand, a card with a date of when you will drop off dinner.
Stocking Stuffers: Eco-friendly toiletries! Bar beauty products to reduce plastic- shampoo/conditioner, soap and of course the soap saver to go with it; bamboo toothbrushes, toothpaste tablets, and bath bombs! And if that isn't fun enough, my family tradition growing up was lottery tickets... for a few bucks, everyone can enjoy a little Christmas morning gamble!
Wrapping Paper: We have been using the same gift bags in our house and within our family for years! We will wrap the gifts from Santa, but everything else gets put in a bag- and you better believe the tissue paper is saved too. Growing up we used the comics or kraft paper from grocery bags (before we BYOB)…but not sure how many people actually still subscribe to a newspaper. If you need to wrap, try this company, Wrappily. Their paper is made with recycled content and is recyclable!
Bottom Line: Before you troll Target for quick grab gifts- take a second and think about who you are gifting and what they really need or when the last time you really connected. Take this holiday season to reconnect with them and yourself. That is a gift in and of itself. <3