I’ve never been a wrapping paper person (WPP). First there’s the trip to the store to purchase paper and tape, then there’s the cost, and finally there’s the impermanence of it all. Wrapping paper is a single-use thing; enjoyed one second and discarded the next. Because of this, I like wrapping paper alternatives.
Here are a few to consider:
Comics (coffee shops are a great place to find comics)
It’s the holiday season again; an excellent time to slow down and spend time with family and friends.
My family celebrates Chanukah and I’ve given my kids a few presents, but years from now I doubt they’ll remember these presents (I know I won’t). Instead of presents, I think my kids will remember the Chanukah parties that we have every year: latkes, candles, and spinning dreidels. Every party is a fun and unique experience.
I think most people would agree that experiences make people happier than things. The novelty of things wears off, but memories last a lifetime. That said, I hope you’ll spend lots of time with family and friends this holiday season.
Experiences are more memorable than presents.
Here’s to life experiences! Give the gift of your time – a very precious commodity in our busy world.
I just celebrated my birthday and received a few gifts that I really love.
My favorite gift is a homemade card from my daughter. Yes, a card can be a gift!
There are many fun things about my Beatles birthday card, but my favorite part is a section where my daughter listed qualities about me (frugal, kind, optimistic, computer geek) with reasons why she selected them. The card let me see myself through my daughter’s eyes. What a gift!
My daughter’s birthday card is a total keeper – keepsake box bound. Someday. For now, I’m still savoring the details.
I can’t think of a better gift than telling someone what they mean to you in a note or card.
Another favorite birthday gift of mine is a bag of chocolate cookies with a coupon for six months of cookies baked by my friend. Yum!
“Instead of buying things we can’t afford, here’s a way to do something more meaningful.”
The web site let’s you send a note to your friends and family offering to share time together, instead of a gift.
This year, the economy has made it tough, so instead of buying Christmas gifts, let’s do something more (fun/helpful/exciting) together like: (a list of options)
I love this idea, but the editor in me can’t resist a little editing. I marked out the bit about it being a tough year. Why? Because it’s not necessary. I don’t think we need a reason to say “instead of a gift, I’d love to do something together with you.”
My sister did this last year for our Mom. Instead of a gift, she asked if they might do something together like put up holiday decorations or make cookies. My Mom agreed and they had a lovely time.
Often the greatest gifts can’t be bought at the mall and or wrapped up in a box.
Give the gift of an experience. Make time for someone. Your time is a gift in itself.
I’ve had the same wallet for a decade. It’s pretty much indestructible.
Recently I stumbled upon a duct tape wallet that caught my eye.
These duct tape wallets are handmade in Methow Valley Washington by Brian Drye. I like these wallets because they’re handmade, thin, simple and unique. And for vegan-minded folks, they’re not made from leather. If you have your own design in mind, you can send it to Brian and he’ll let you know if it’s doable. Don’t want a design? You can order a basic brown duct tape wallet. Here’s a blue one:
Like to keep things simple? It doesn’t get any simpler than this wallet.
This simple money-band lets you carry cash and cards, bundled together in your front pocket. If paying $5 for a strong perfectly sized rubber band seems outrageous, start looking for your own rubber band. My friend uses a regular ol’ rubber band that she wraps around her credit cards a couple times. It does the trick and costs nothing.
Any of these wallets should perform admirably and won’t bust your budget. To use these wallets, you will need to whittle down the cards you carry to the bare essentials.
Right now I carry 7 cards:
My insurance card
Starbucks discount card (could leave in my car)
My kid’s insurance card
Try it yourself. Whittle down the number of cards you carry. How low can you go?
My daughter doesn’t differentiate between new and used. She’s 8 years old, and to her stuff is just stuff. Even in the case of a gift.
This story begins with a birthday party. I keep a stack of Barnes & Noble gift cards for kids’ birthday parties. I have the stack for a variety of reasons – the gift cards keep things simple, require little shopping, and I like to give books as gifts.
That said, my gift card stash was depleted and a birthday party was imminent. A Sunday morning bookstore dash was becoming likely, but I stayed silent. I wanted my daughter, who is an excellent problem solver, to come up with a solution. And she did.
Surprisingly and thankfully, my daughter didn’t mention going to a store. Instead, she started going through her stuff. Knowing that her friend loves Pokemon, she thumbed through her Pokemon movies. “How about this?” She offered up a favorite, Lucario and the Mysteries of Mew. “Sure,” I said gleefully.
There was a moment of silence. The gears in her head were spinning. “If I give this to Chaz, can we get another one?” Impressed that she was willing to give away a favorite, and excited about not going to a store, I said “sure.”
What I appreciate about my daughter’s thought process is that she consideredwhat she had, and not what the closest store had. She found a great gift and it didn’t matter that it was used.
I was thinking of popping out to buy something, but my daughter found a great gift amongst her things. In her mind, stuff is stuff. New or used, it’s all the same. And why not? A great gift is a thoughtful gift. It doesn’t matter if it’s used or new.
What about you? Do you give gently used gifts? Have you gotten a used gift? What did you think? Please share your thoughts in a Comment.
Postscript: We should be near the end of my daughter’s Pokemon phase. I’m hoping that if the dvd is replaced, it will be with something else – a different used dvd.
Postscript #2: I read this post to my daughter today and she thought I missed an important point. The dvd was originally her birthday gift from me. She told her friend as much and he loved the gift.