In the frenzied countdown to Christmas, I believe it’s time to consider a different type of holiday gift. One that encourages deeper connections, learning and creativity. A holiday gift that runs counter to the consumerism of the season (as well as the long lines at stores). A present that encourages experiences over “stuff.”
Thanks to the ideas of The Minimalists, a less-traditional option is now my main go-to holiday gift. These gifts — whether for Christmas, a birthday or anniversary — offer a celebratory note while also allowing me to offer family and friends my most precious resources of time and attention.
Holiday Gift Spanning the Year
Take my elementary-age neighbor. When she was younger, I gave her a gift card that she could use at a book store or a movie theater. Last year, I decided to try something different. I fired up my computer and typed out a homemade gift certificate for multiple creativity days during 2016.
I wondered if she would wrinkle her nose when she opened my present on Christmas morning. Instead, she bowled me over with a huge hug and a wave of excitement.
We ended up spreading the creative events out over the year. We decorated baked good, created cupcake-liner bouquets and designed picture frames. More importantly, we spent quality time together, something that a new outfit or the latest toy would never have provided. We got dirty, made a mess, sampled our food creations and laughed a lot. And as an added benefit, my own creative juices started flowing since I had to coach my young neighbor when making some of these creations.
A New Tradition
Earlier this week, I ran into my young neighbor’s parents and asked them what holiday gift their daughter wants for Christmas this year. They didn’t miss a beat – another gift certificate for creativity days. Looks like the start of a new tradition!