I’ve been enjoying some recent blog conversations about gifts that aren’t stuff. Here are some of my favorite points of brilliance made by simplelovely and smallnotebook (via here) and their readers. I’ve included the basic ideas, but visit their posts for more ideas and insight. And I love the advice Liz Jenkins gives about getting the word out about gifts that aren’t stuff without sounding expectant: “The best way… is to start giving gifts like these and they tend to spark a conversation which can then lead to people following suit.”
would love to surprise a birthday friend with a fresh garland (via one pretty thing)
I love the idea of giving gifts that don’t add to the piles of “stuff” we all seem to end up with…. Given my current culinary leanings though, I’m especially intrigued by gifts of food.
Our friend Achlee’s genius gift of that killer homemade blueberry pie for Bryan’s birthday.
Mav’s recent birthday gift to a close friend of homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
Art supplies like paper, finger paints, sidewalk chalk, markers, etc….Falls in the same category as “consumables,” like food for grownups. (Mamacita, comment 19)
I get a gift card from borders and let audrey make a cute homemade card….we got one as a birthday gift last year and audrey loved going shopping to pick out her special birthday book. (Joslyn, comment 22)
My daughter and I are cruising the aisle at Target last year on the hunt for the birthday present we need TODAY (you know . . . Barbie, My Little Pony, Polly Pockets, etc.) and then it hit me. Besides the fact that these presents cause piles of clutter and seem to be sort of a cop out (go to big box store, get plastic made in China, get gift bag, stick in bag, give to recipient), it also goes against my grain which is to be thoughtful and mindful about what I purchase…In that spirit, here is a list of great gifts that don’t involve stuff:
A trip with the gift giver to a place both would enjoy such as the zoo, children’s theatre, science center or aquarium
Make a movie on the computer of pictures of your child and the friend
All of the materials needed for an art project
I think family memberships to museums, zoos etc are great grandparent gifts. (Jane, comment 3)
We, also, like to give gift certificates to our park district. They can use it toward lessons, ice skating, the zoo, performances. (Marci, comment 4)
I’ve given Ranger Rick magazine subscriptions to kids who love animals. (Kirwin, comment 7)
Another thing that I have done is to make meaningful memoirs for my kids. (Stephanie, comment 10)
My daughter is a college sophomore and had a tough time deciding what to do for her best friend’s birthday…She decided to bake a different type of cookie for her each month and send it to her at school with a cute, handmade card. (Patty, comment 28)
i love the idea of a very special “hang sesh” with a kid. like a really cute handmade or nicely designed gift certificate for “Cupcake Decorating Hang Sesh with Auntie Lyndsay!” (lyndsay, comment 30)
For my son’s birthday parties we have been having a book exchange instead of gifts. (Josh, comment 31)