Holiday Gift Guide: Alternative Ideas

Ah, Christmas. Although I’m not a fan of winter, I can’t deny how much I love Christmas. I especially love living in the city around this time… the lights, the glittering snow, the music…it’s all so magical! I’m going to be blunt here for a second and say that all of the magic gets blurred out with consumerism, though. I will admit, when I was a kid, I obviously loved the gifts and the idea of Santa, but now that I’m an adult, it’s not really something I support. Even in my early teens, when my parents asked me what I wanted, I’d respond with “I’m good. I don’t need anything”.  I’m more excited about sitting with my family and enjoying their time, especially  during Christmas dinner.  I’m already not a fan of malls, and when you add the pressure of purchasing gifts for multiple people, it just adds stress to the season (for me, anyway). Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE shopping for others…but I always think in the back of my mind that there are others who are less fortunate, and who could benefit from receiving a gift. I just think it’s silly that a bunch of adults who are perfectly capable of purchasing their own items wait for Christmas to receive material goods from one another.

I guess what I’m trying to say is maybe reconsider material gifts this year? If not for others, then for yourself. Maybe instead of asking for that $300+ Kitchen Aid batter mixer, ask others to make a donation to your favourite charity because in all honesty, you probably have more than enough shit. We’re all th ultimate hoarders with our gadgets, technology, makeup, clothes, etc., and I say enough! Focus on the gifts that won’t be around forever: cooking/baking with your family, appreciating family traditions, having a cup of hot cocoa with good company, attending a Christmas market, etc.

I’ve been noticing a lot of Perfect Gift Guides posts lately, and while it is the season, I wanted to take a different approach and offer a Perfect Gift Guide that doesn’t involve material goods. I promise I’m not the Grinch….probably more of a Cindy Lou Who 🙂

1: Charity Donation

As I already mentioned, giving back is a gift in itself. If someone asks what you want, ask them to make a donation to your favourite charity, their favourite charity, or BOTH. This is also a wonderful gift for someone else because who isn’t pro-being a good person, pro-saving the world, and/or pro-kindness? Hopefully the person in your life is pro-all those things!! 😛

2: A Pet

This is my personal favourite. PREPARE TO BE THE BEST VERSION OF SANTA CLAUSE EVER. Adopting a puppy, cat, etc. is an incredible gift that ensures love, loyalty, and….lots and lots of patience! Heads up though, because you want to make sure that the person receiving a pet would be 100% okay with the idea.  Remember to consider adoption because there are lots of fur babies and older animals that are in need of loving homes.

3: An Experience

Is someone constantly talking about how much they want to take up drumming, yoga, ballet dancing, etc.? Consider gifting someone a lesson or a class for an experience they have always wanted to try, or something they already love doing. As I mentioned in my post about my anxiety, Mark gifted me an unlimited yoga class membership, which was such an incredible gift in helping me personally and physically! You can read more about that post here. Experiences win everytime. Another fun idea is Season Passes. They can be used for Museums, National Parks, Amusement Parks, etc.! If you especially want to have a fun time, try WINE TASTING.


Introducing my Frenchie, Rory!

4: Prepare a Meal

This one works really well if you want to give Mom (or whomever does the cooking) a day off. In my home, Mark and I will cook each other meals all the time, and it’s something that shows your appreciation for the other person. Cooking or baking for someone is very personal, and there is no faking that love! It’s always nice to come home to a home-cooked meal, especially when it includes all the flavors you and/or someone else enjoys. If you want to be extra cute, create a little menu and give it to them before hand so that they can decide what they’d like to you make for them!

5: Your Expertise

Are you a fashion lover? Provide your expertise and help them organize their closet, or styling their outfits. Makeup or Hair guru? Give them a fun makeover! Plumbing? Unclog their toilet. LOL. The point is, use something you’re good at to help them out. They’ll appreciate it.

I hope after reading this post, it has inspired you (even a little), to reconsider material goods as Christmas gifts.  What are your thoughts on gifts? On no gifts? Is there anything I’m missing? Let me know in the comments!! I love hearing from you guys.

Wishing you a stress-free season in the meantime xx