Christmas doesn’t have to be about wrapping paper and batteries. There are lots of great gift ideas that can spread the joy and be sustainable at the same time. Some of my favourites include:
A photo-shoot can be such a special gift. Every time they look at the photos they’ll be reminded of a great memory, and the great person behind the scenes. Do it yourself (if you feel confident) or find a photographer that suits their lifestyle and set up a surprise shoot. Socially distant suggestions include an outdoor photo shoot or even on your front porch.
Dinner On You
It’s a timeless and traditional gift. Whether you have plans to get busy in the kitchen or pick up the tab, providing dinner for friends or family is a warm experience gift. Whose love language doesn’t include food? To stay socially distanced, why not order dinner from a local restaurant online and have it delivered?
Annual passes to the local museum or art gallery or even for outdoor recreation such as skiing are gifts that can last all year. One of my favorites is the national parks pass that gives access to all of Canada’s national parks.
Memberships and Subscriptions
If magazine subscription was the first thing that came to your mind, do I have news for you: there are so many options! Subscriptions and memberships are the gift that keeps on giving (every month or so!) Here are some of the best suggestions include streaming subscriptions (Spotify, Netflix, Disney+, Crave, Apple Music) or subscriptions to meal box programs (local programs have less waste and are the most sustainable).
Lifelong learning is a great gift! Lots of unique and “who would’ve thought” type of classes that would make great gift ideas. And there are lots of great classes online. Some of my favourites: art classes (pottery, wood working, painting, piano/music), recreation classes (yoga, dance, spin, ski lessons) and other classes such as cooking classes, zero waste classes, or there are plenty of online master classes – like photography, graphic design, or languages.
Don’t think of this one as “the lazy person’s gift”; think of it as giving the perfect gift, because after all, the recipient will use it on exactly what they want. This is also a good solution for office Secret Santa’s or gift swaps, especially if you’re not close with the person who will be receiving it – because who doesn’t need groceries or gas? Or doesn’t use up a Tims card?
Think about gifting that always busy person in your life a service this holiday, but even the not-so-busy person in your life would probably appreciate a day off from cleaning the bathrooms. Why not give the gift of clean with a certificate for window washing or an ongoing service like lawn and garden care or an oil change?
Give Your Time
Do you have a skill or expertise that you get asked a lot about? Why not gift them some time to help them! Maybe you can do an oil change or just want to walk your friend’s dog? They’ll appreciate it more than you think!
This suggestion isn’t for everyone, but donating on behalf of someone can be a very special gift in lieu of the traditional type. There are lots of worthy and deserving charities, non profit groups, and organizations that would benefit a special gift like this!