A month ago, I was remarking via Facebook and Twitter that I was aghast by the number of “buy green for the holidays” press releases I’d already started receiving in my email box. I mentioned the idea of a “buy nothing for the holidays” challenge, and it sparked a good deal of interest. Crunchy mentioned to me that she had something in store, and soon released her “Buy Hand for the Holidays” challenge. Awesome!
But… I was looking for something a little different, a little more. I am working my butt off in my new business and unfortunately I don’t have time to make much in the way of gifts. Yet – I don’t want to ruin Christmas for those who like to give or receive gifts, so I don’t want to stop the gift-giving completely. Besides, a really thoughtful gift can mean a great deal to both giver and receiver. I like the good that can bring to the world.
Alrighty then, here you have it – let’s challenge ourselves not to buy anything NEW.
What Does That Mean?
1. You can make handmade gifts (and I highly encourage you to make them out of things you don’t have to buy new – collages, scarves and mittens made out of re-sold or traded yarn, napkins made out of old sheets or scrap pieces, canned sauces or dried herbs from the garden, old furniture refurbished to look like new, etc).
2. You can buy from a thrift store, resale shop, or anywhere that sells or gives away used items (like a beautiful first-edition copy of your mom’s favorite book, an awesome game you used to play as kids, a vintage handbag, an irresistible shawl, a tricycle, almost anything you can think of giving comes in used versions!)
3. You can give non-material things (like kisses and hugs, help painting the porch, setting up dad’s computer, babysitting for a parents’ night out, a coupon for a candlelight dinner for two at home, donating to a charity in the recipient’s name, or something else creative).
4. You can give things from your home (like an old, meaningful piece of clothing, a book dear to your heart, a vase or picture frame you love but doesn’t fit in your home anymore, a relic from an old trip, etc).
5. You can give things from your garden (like propagated perennial herbs or ornamental plant starts, saved seeds, flowers, holly berries, nuts, citrus fruits, veggie starts, etc).
Why Do It?
- Why not? Does anyone you know really need more stuff?
- It means more, because the gift is more unique (and because maybe you searched for something to give that meant something to you)
- It doesn’t support corporations whose values you don’t agree with
- It doesn’t put unnecessary stuff out into the world
- It lowers the carbon footprint of your gifts
- It saves money
- Salvation Army
- Heifer International
- Garage and estate sales
- Flea markets or swap meets
- Used bookstores
- Consignment shops
- Our own blogosphere (Rhonda Jean’s blog is full of great things to make, eg)
- Friends and family (trade supplies!)
- Your community (host a craft supplies swap!)
(*Note TisBest is a client of mine, but I just think they’re cool – I get nothing from telling you about them!)
Shout It Out, Spread The Word!
If you’d like to spread the word about this challenge, please do! Pick a doodad below to put on your blog, or you can click on the images to download a larger size.
Sign Up Now – Join Us!
I remember when I was a little kid nobody talked about holiday shopping until after Thanksgiving – well, not anymore – it’s not even Halloween yet but the decorations are up and the malls are packed! So before you succumb to the peer pressure, sign up for the challenge and stay true to your values this holiday season!
And please feel free to share resources and ideas when you sign up below!