It’s hard to believe that December is already here, that 2014 is coming to a close and the holidays are right around the corner. I have mixed feelings about the holidays. While I absolutely love the smell of a fresh pine tree in the house (cut from sustainable farms), baking more loaves of bread than I’ll bake all year (pumpkin is my favorite), and driving through neighborhoods with fabulous Christmas lights (I still love the old fashioned white twinkle lights best), there are a few things that irk me about the season too.
Like Christmas carols blaring at an uncomfortable volume from speakers in every single store (what happened to background music?), people throwing elbows to get to the front of long lines of holiday shoppers (an oxymoron during the Season of Good Cheer)… and getting and giving gifts that start collecting dust the minute they’re opened.
This wasn’t the case for me when I was younger. I loved stuff. Material things were a sign of abundance. But as the years have passed, I have come to realize that my favorite gifts to give and receive are what I call Useable Gifts. Things that can be consumed or worn, leaving no room for gathering dust motes. For we only have one planet Earth, and the growing problem of disposables and landfills troubles me as time marches on.
Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not advocating that you give a fruitcake that nobody will ever eat or a special Christmas sweater that will be worn exactly… never. I’m talking about gifts that another person would love to have, but might not normally buy for themselves; something that delights and satisfies and won’t be stuck on a back shelf in the garage or thrown in the trash a couple of months later.
So, rather than getting that Handcrafted in Russia Nutcracker or Solar Powered Mini Telescope, I turn toward a gourmet hot chocolate mix, hand-poured candle or thrice-milled goat milk soap. As you might imagine, I would also add BodyMantra Essential Oil Blends and Gift Certificates to the mix – a unique gift, easily consumed.
Whatever you choose, I hope you’ll consider this notion of Useable Gifts this season. They set you up to be creative, bring holiday cheer to your loved ones and take care of the planet in one, fell swoop.