It is so easy to get caught up in the glitter of holiday promotions: glitzy ads on every media screen, midnight madness at the malls and the temptation to just order everything online and save ourselves the slushy pant cuffs of actually going out to shop.
We joke about the regifting concept, but it does have some merit — especially if someone is underemployed or wanting a change from mall crawls and credit card debt. The idea is to challenge your gift-giving circle to give gifts without spending money. Bartering would be fine. Start with everyone writing a list of four things they would like that needn’t come from a store. It can be very creative and get stuff cycling both literally and physically out of waste or disuse.
10 Suggestions to get you thinking about regifting
- Gently used kitchen basics overflowing from your kitchen. Wrap them up for your favorite college student: dishes, pots, gadgets, glassware. Add recipes.
- Water bottles that come with event swag. Fill them with baking ingredients for a tweenager to make brownies or cookies.
- Ten hours of babysitting goes a long way for new parents. Depending on age, bring construction paper, glue and old magazines for collages.
- A beloved book. Wrap it up for a kindred spirit along with an invitation to tea.
- Collect some great fabric pieces. Old jeans and flannel shirts, cut to size for a quilter or crafter.
- Swap living room floor picnics once a month. Complete with well-used classic board games.
- Donate time. Volunteer four hours of your time to each person’s charity of choice.
- Host a “Schnapps Wars” bottle swap. Often we have unopened bottles of gifted alcohol that isn’t to our tastes.
- Teach a friend a second language. Give them your reading materials and a list of resources. Practice conversation.
- Garden and household tools. Tools you have doubles of make a great gift for someone’s first apartment or house.
In each case, the gift becomes very personal and very precious. You also give yourself the gift of not getting swept away from the true meaning of giving.
Whatever your seasonal celebration, make it matter!