Hope everyone's having a wonderful holiday season! I am quite happy with my gift-giving this year; instead of giving piles of "stuff," it was much more fitting to my values. These are some of the things I did:
- Buying fair trade. In previous years, I've tended to buy fairly-traded crafts (or coffee, chocolate, etc) only for recipients who I know would appreciate their origin. But this year, I decided to widen the scope dramatically, and everybody was fair game. It doesn't matter that my uncle couldn't care less what the person who made his present was paid; I care.
- Giving money or experiences rather than items. My sister is planning a trip with her friends this summer, so what she really wanted was money towards that. I can treat my boyfriend or other friends to a trip, a play, a concert together rather than a "thing."
- Giving to charity on people's behalf. There's only a limited number of friends and relatives who this can fly with, but for those people, I went with it.
- Making personal, frugal presents. From baking cookies to burning CD mixes, I substituted time and effort in place of shopping for some people.
I couldn't completely escape the commercialism of the holidays, but on the whole I'm pretty proud of how I did this time around. How about you?