The average American is willing to spend $750 this year on Christmas gifts. Will this money go to truly useful gifts? Or will you again buy and receive gifts to be passed on as new gifts, donations, or simply trash? If you’re going to buy a gift, try to make it useful. Something to eat, a tool to use, a book they’ll actually read.
If you really, truly want to show how much you love and care about your friends and family, make them something. For example, you can save that $750, invest a tiny fortune for a home canning kit and make all your loved ones some holiday jam.
1. Can your own jams and preserves
2. Give the gift of charity
3. Gift a fun experience, such as rock climbing, yoga, or outdoor adventures
4. Give a special service, if you have the talent – fix the plumbing, paint the walls, patch some pants, or build a raised vegetable bed
5. Make your own tote bags
6. Make your own ornaments
7. Give a seedball
8. Make your own Christmas cookies, loaves, or other snacks.
9. Gift compost if you’ve got friends or family who like to garden.
10. Make your own vegan eggnog
11. Write a poem
12. Write a song to perform for your loved ones. Musical family? Perform together!
13. Make a Christmas rag rug
14. Screenprint your own T-shirt.
15. Make a special photo album for you and your family.
16. Give a special soup or dish
17. If you’ve really got nothing, offer to help with meals, chores, or keeping the guests entertained.
18. Brew your own holiday beer [not a last minute idea]
19. Make your own artwork – a sketch, painting, sculpture, ceramics, even a Christmas story.
20. Knit a scarf, hat, some towels, or mittens.
21. Make your own candles
22. Make your own jewelry
23. Sew your own ugly doll
24. Make your own Christmas cards
25. Give a plant
If you think you’ll break a bone trying to make a gift yourself, don’t have any special talents to offer, or anything yummy to bake or cook, and really need to buy something, try the Love and Trash 2010 Holiday Gift Guide. As you probably know, we at Love and Trash hate buying things, so everything listed is either made from recycled, eco-friendly materials, or is geared towards helping you make your own gifts.
Who’s making all those store-bought gifts anyway? People are.
(photo by Bryan Ochalla)