What is the most valuable thing we can give each other? Time. And spending time planning a special adventure, or personal experience, will be rewarded with memories lasting far longer than most consumable items.
Less environmentally impactful, but more emotionally impactful gift ideas for the kids / family :
* Have the kids plan a day with the other parent, sibling, grandparent, or friend. The gift given could be a coupon or a beautiful picture describing their thoughts on the day. Help them get ready with a journal and a small camera so they can take notes on their adventure and conversations from the day. They will remember that forever.
* Make a list of places to potentially take the person, and play adventure bingo on the special day by rolling a dice on where to go.
* Make a scrapbook with a page for several parks in Seattle. Set the kids up with a camera from Goodwill.
* Bonus points for taking public transit for all of these!
* Take a train trip together! It’s about $100 to San Francisco. You can then Couchsurf (get your account set up now) or use Airbnb for a place to stay.
* Put together the dry ingredients for cookies or other baked goods. Gather some fun cookie cutters from Goodwill and some cute new oven mitts and an apron go along with the gift.
* Put together a cookbook of recipes to make together, with a space to put the picture of the final product and everyone while they were making it.
* Give a season of theater through the Seattle Children’s Theater, Thistle Theater, and Storybook Theater
* Seattle Symphony has programs for tots.
* Give a coupon for some dance classes, along with something fun to dance in (from Goodwill!), or for art classes with some basic supplies, etcCheck out the Story of Stuff’s Buy Less Live More
page for ideas as well.Low to no impact gifts for anyone:
○ Emailed electronic gift card for an e-book
○ Restaurant gift cards
○ Event tickets, memberships
○ Homemade baked goods in a reusable tin
○ Bus passes
○ Reusable batteries and a charger
○ Cloth napkins
○ Plants (they clean the air!)Think twice about buying wrapping paper and instead use items that were on their way to be recycled (newspaper, magazines, calendars, paper bags) or to Goodwill (holey sweaters, old sheets, scarves) and decorate with paper, dried flowers, pinecones, or twine. Keep containers from other gifts throughout the year for reuse. Remember that any time you add foam, lots of glue, or other unrecyclable materials to packaging, it reduces the likelihood that the wrapping can be recycled. This also goes for artwork…
An estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold each year in the United States, enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. Electronic holiday greeting cards, offered through a variety of websites, are a convenient, no-cost, waste-free alternative.
And, last, but not at all least, consider putting charities and people outside of your home 1st on your giving lists. Not a bad time to talk to kids about all of their privileges and what other people are doing without. Kids really get it, and engaging them in the process of recognizing the needs of others, and honoring what they see and how they feel about it, is necessary for creating a truly compassionate next generation.