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5 Green Gifts of Experience and Time

Posted By ecodiva On 12/08/2009 @ 7:04 am In Frugal Living | 15 Comments

As the holiday season of sparkle and glitter quickly approaches, it’s easy to get swept up in the costly winds of buying, giving and receiving. Personally, I’ve spent way too many hours browsing the aisles (at the last minute) trying to find the perfect thing that my friend will like love not have to re-gift!! This year, instead of mindlessly scanning the shelves, take a moment and plan a gift that will create memories, warm hearts and build friendships without adding any financial stress.

Here are some of my ideas to get your creative giving juices flowing.

Host a Potluck

To most people the idea of hosting a dinner party can be stressful and daunting. From cleaning, to menu planning and cleaning some more, the whole thing can cause a few extra gray hairs to sprout. But, there is a better way. Here are some benefits of choosing a potluck event with your friends and family:

  • You only have to cook ONE dish and supply the condiments and other table settings.
  • You can make it festive by inviting guests early to cook & prepare together, making set up and clean up a breeze.
  • You get to share your friends favorite dishes and not any one does a WHOLE LOT of work.
  • It’s FUN!!

Lend A Hand

With the state of affairs in the world today, many people are feeling the financial crunch of the current economy. Even if you don’t have a lot of green dough to give, you can still bring a whole lot of joy into someones life. Here are some things that you can do…or come up with your own:

  • Offer to paint a room in your friends home. You can even say “I’ll bring the supplies if you get the paint” or just bring it allĀ  if you can.
  • Offer baby or pet-sitting services to give your friend a break (only if you are qualified and would actually enjoy the experience).
  • Take your friend out for some gourmet tea…it’s a small luxury that comes with the gift of time and conversation.
  • Cook them a meal and deliver it to their door, include dessert! (make sure to account for any allergies and preferences).

Start A Tradition

There are so many different ways to celebrate the holidays. This year get together with your family and create a new tradition that can be something that honors your unique group of friends or family. Here are some fun things that I would do:

  • Bake a cake together.
  • Volunteer at a local shelter.
  • Have a day in your pajamas together.
  • Create your own ornaments together using only things you find in nature.
  • Write a song or start a holiday band – no real musical talent necessary.

Make It Personal

Throughout the year we all take pictures at family dinners, outing and vacations. Choose your favorite images of friends and family and turn them into memories. Here are some ideas to get your started:

  • Turn favorite pictures into framed memories.
  • Make a calender for the following year using images from the previous year.
  • Make a collage or memory book of the year together.

Take Care of Yourself

One of the most important things you can do to help your friends and family is to take care of yourself. Make sure to do something lovely, amazing and thoughtful for yourself as well. After all a happy friend/parent/spouse makes for a happy family.

  • Get a massage
  • Plan a day for doing only the things you want to do (not NEED to do).
  • Spend a whole week saying NO to the things you really don’t want to do.
  • Take a dance/yoga/cooking/writing class…just because.

p.s. I do still love to give and receive store bought gifts. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am an accessories girl all the way. However, some of the best gifts I’ve received over the years have been simple, heartfelt and simple things that I still treasure to this day.

I’d love to hear some of your ideas for making memories this holiday season.


(Photo: rebeccaanne [3])

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