A Less Spendy Holiday

A couple posts ago, I talked about the concept of minimalism and how wonderful it would be if I could cut clutter from my small apartment and focus on more important things than a cheap top from a fast-fashion store (I’m looking at you, H&M).

Admittedly, I haven’t exactly been promoting this lifestyle with my last few gift-guide posts (though I hope they were helpful), so I thought I would take a moment today to remind myself of gifts that are going to be just as loved, and will probably cost a lot less. Here’s a smattering, in no particular order, of my ideas for (sometimes) less tangible, less commercial giving:

1.) Bake! No brainer, especially if you’re skilled in this department (unlike me). A prettied-up presentation can make homemade treats just that much more special.

2.) Tickets. Over the past couple of months, I’ve come to realize that spending money on experiences rather than material objects can be so much more rewarding. While concert tickets can be expensive, there are plenty of experiences that don’t have to be; a museum pass would make a great present. (Shedd Aquarium, anyone?)

3.) Give the gift of your time. Free babysitting is always a welcome present for those with families. Or take a day with someone you love but don’t get to see very often.

4.) Craft. One of my favorite presents of all time was an intricate origami ball that held two paper hearts, made with a small packet of origami paper and many painstaking hours. That gift contained more love and effort than a quick dash to the mall, that’s for sure. Presents with photos are often best; anything from a collage/scrapbook to a photo mug will do.

5.) Give the gift that will change a life through charitable giving. Although almost all charitable organizations have great intentions, I personally feel that the best ones are those that don’t just give straight handouts (i.e. soup kitchens)–instead, I like organizations such as Kiva (microfinance loans that help people start their own businesses in poorer countries) and Heifer (gives farm animals to families for milk, cheese, and manure). These organizations give the gift of self-sufficiency, which is priceless.


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