“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world
in a conspiracy of love.” Hamilton Wright Mabi
There has been a trend in recent years to minimize consumerism and clutter by buying less things during the holidays. It might be a nice change to give “experiences” instead of things to older children and other loved ones. Most kids and many adults don’t really need more material things. (Bonus: ordering gift certificates so easy by phone or computer.) I have also spotted a number of offers on Groupon and Living Social for massages, manicures, etc.
These experiences turn into memories–you can’t have too many great memories from childhood.
- Give a child a hand-made coupon or card with a promise to go to the children’s museum to see that new exhibit, a get-away ski weekend or ice-skating at your local pond or ice skating rink–complete with lunch and hot chocolate afterwards. It’s best to suggest a date so this promise is seen as concrete.
- Give a spouse a coupon can be for a dinner and movie or a concert. It is best to be pretty specific with this plan of an IOU. It might be fun to design a coupon that includes all the suggested details and dates.
Give gift certificates for services that we see as splurges, such as:
- car detailing or car washes
- pet grooming
- sports event
- framing of art/photographs
- hair salon/barber shop appointment
- house cleaning services
- personal training or nutritional counseling
- a massage or other body work
- a facial
- window cleaning
- a get away at a B & B
- an ice skating class
- a class at the local adult ed program
- professional organizing services
- professional family portrait
Personally, I would take almost any of the above for myself as a recipient.
One more option to minimize the consumerism part of the holidays is to get together with friends and family and go on a “holiday play-date”, such as an ice-skating party, cross-country skiing (at night!), a nature walk or a drive through the most over-the-top holiday-decorated neighborhoods in lieu of exchanging gifts. Who knows, you and your family could start a new tradition (and create less clutter) for years to come.