With the holiday season upon us (or so the circulars tell me) I thought I’d devote today’s column to gift giving. Let’s face it folks, for a lot of us, its not going to be the big present year that we were hoping for. The economy is in the gutter, year-end bonuses have gone with it, and many people are trying to figure out what to do for the holidays.
For starters, let’s all take a deep breath, grab some couch, and think about the gifts that we have given and received in the past few years. Can you remember what you got last year? How about the year before? Can you remember what you gave someone eight years ago? If you’re like me, you basically have no clue.
Now, sit back, close your eyes for a minute, and think back to the first time you had dinner with your spouse, your child’s first school play, or the last time your entire family was together (well, maybe some don’t want to recall that one). If one of those specifics doesn’t apply, pick one that does. Does it make you smile when you think of it? Can you recall specifics of the particular event or happening? If you are like me, the answer to that question is yes because interpersonal experiences tend to hold much more long-term value than any plastic wrapped soon to break thing ever can.
So this year, how about breaking with tradition and laying off the stuff?
Instead of that new doll, electronic video game or stereophonic hi fidelity music replicator, why not give someone the gift of an experience. A lot of people have called me on the fact that if everyone stopped buying, the economy would collapse, and they might be right (I never really understood economics past my piggy bank so I’m assuming). Thankfully, giftless giving is a great way to bolster your local economy (emphasis on local there) and still keep yourself out of the whole production cycle.
Next page: A few ideas for ya: