Holiday Gift-Giving without Giving a Gift
My husband and I don’t exchange presents with each other or our family and friends. It’s not that we don’t buy stuff for anyone, but we buy gifts when we see something that is useful for our friends. But that’s not limited to the twelve month of the year or birthdays.
I actually love the surprise element of receiving presents but I don’t expect or want any gifts because if I want something, I buy it myself (I’m very impatient!). And we don’t expect family or friends to get it for us. I’m also trying to have less materials in the house and try to practice the 3 Rs – Reduce (working on that right now), Reuse and Recycle (got that down pat).
Here are some things that we sometimes do in lieu of buying impersonal gifts (ie. giftcards, chipping in a set amount to get something – afterall, a gift shouldn’t be limited to “$20 per person”):
– make a donation in their name. The money goes to a charity and your friend can get a tax break too. Remember to get a donation receipt and put it in the birthday card or holiday card.
– give your time. Offer to take a friend somewhere if s/he doesn’t drive. Or if you go to the movies, you can treat. Offer to babysit so your friends can have a date night.
– frozen home cooked meal. Make your friend’s favourite dish and prepare it so that it’s freezer ready.
– do a favour for them. It may be something you don’t expect. Maybe your friend needs help planning a shower or a party or chase a debt for them… who knows? What’s important is that you will take that task off their hands (assuming that you are capable of completing it).
The point is, there are a lot more creative and meaningful ideas rather than a $50 gift card.