The holidays are here. It’s now officially “last minute,” but that doesn’t mean that we have to surrender to the big box stores and buy expensive junk that they really don’t need. There is still time to keep it simple and meaningful. Here are my favorite simple, yet lovely, last minute gifts.
Homemade body scrubs - Winter inevitably means dry skin. Mix ¼ cup of organic sugar with 1 cup of coconut oil or olive oil. Add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil. I like to give the scrub in small jars wrapped in ribbon. They look adorable and do a great job saving those dry, mangled cuticles.
Community Supported Agriculture gift certificate – Who doesn’t love food? Horse and Buggy Produce has gift certificates, offering a chance to try out a huge variety of local, seasonal goodies. You can help preserve local agriculture by supporting farmers and make sure your loved ones are eating well in the process!
Photos – We have lots of photos stored on our computers and phones, but we don’t often have pictures to hold in our hands anymore. As a result, people love receiving real, actual photographs. This doesn't require some cheesy formal portrait session, just find a quirky photo that is meaningful, or ask a friend to come over and just take some quick family shots. Print at home, or use the super easy Kodak printers at CVS drug stores. Second-hand shops often have a nice selection of photo frames.
Get outta town – I am a travel junkie. After years of trying to come up with gifts for my husband (the I-Don’t-Need-Anything-Guy) I realized that what we both enjoy most is traveling together. So, we gave up buying needless stuff and instead plan a trip every year as our gift to each other. The trips have been bigger or smaller, depending on finances and circumstances, but they always end up being much more satisfying than that year I bought him the hammock that never made it out of the box.
Giving to Charity – The best way to beat the Christmas consumerism blues is to donate on the recipient’s behalf to a charity. One of my favorite charities is Heifer International. With the idea of a hand up, not a hand out, Heifer provides livestock and training to people in developing areas to create sustainable self-reliance. The recipient agrees to pass on the offspring of the animals to other folks in need. You can give anything from rabbits to a camel. What's a cooler gift than a camel?
Finally, if you would rather support other people’s craftiness, The Christmas Market is open on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Support our community artisans and shop local!
Happy holidays to all and remember the best way to stay sane this season - simplify, simplify, simplify.