Now that Thanksgiving is over, we’re all turning our attention to the next big event – the holidays! I could say that we shouldn’t give each other gifts, and rather just focus on the meanings of the holidays instead. However let’s be real and admit that this year has been HARD. We can’t gather like we usually want and have watched our loved one struggles through less than ideal situations. So if you’re like me, you likely want to spoil your community a little bit and get some joy from gift-giving. But how do we participate in this tradition and stay true to our less-waste principles? A few ideas…
Something that’s edible or compostable. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE receiving flowers. They brighten my home, feel like a small luxury and don’t create extra clutter. When I’m done, I throw them into a compost heap and say goodbye. Easy peasy. We’ve had great luck with bouquets from the CO-OP and of course there are local florists and plant stores in town. You can support a local business and cleanse the air in your home! Another option is obviously some kind of baked good like holiday cookies in a reusable tin. I once gave someone a simple cranberry banana bread as a holiday gift and they were really pleased to receive a treat to enjoy with their afternoon coffee. If you’re looking for ideas, Dorie Greenspan has a new lemon meringue recipe.
Something used. I have two girls who are under ten years old and well into the Barbie and American Girl Doll phase. Obviously nothing new to the game of childhood. I was therefore able to find a lot of their gifts – a new AG doll, clothes for said dolls and playsets – via Kidizen and ebay. I love these sites for a few reasons – no new trash, supporting small families and/or businesses and saving some money. There’s no reason why they need brand new Barbie clothes when I can find an excellent used version (plus closet!) for half the price. Amazon doesn’t need more of my money, but another family might.
Focus on small businesses. Sometimes baked goods or used items might not work. For example, I am sending gifts to my girls’ teachers this year and don’t want to give anything baked by me due to school Covid restrictions (completely understandable) and feel funny about giving them something used (that’s another issue all together!). So I’m going to buy one a cookbook from my favorite local bookstore and focus on yummy wrapped treats for the other (think maple syrup, coffee etc) from my favorite farmstand. These are items that I think will be enjoyed and small businesses need our support more than ever. Restaurant gift cards are another option too. Let’s put our money to good use!
So that’s my plan for this holiday season. If you’re looking for more ideas, Hannah will be offering some less-waste gear options in an upcoming post. Regardless of your gift-giving choices, I hope you’re able to find some happiness during these next few weeks. We all deserve it! Xo, Rachel