Does anything say Christmas like consumerism?
Sure, it’s about family time, building snowmen and making cookies, but just think—family time requires dinner and wine. Building a snowman requires a hat, gloves, and a scarf. And making cookies requires flour, eggs, sugar, and butter.
Somehow, you’re going to end up buying extra stuff this month. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, even during the holidays.
If you are on the struggle sleigh when it comes to gift giving, I have some ideas. I think a truly good gift goes beyond rote consumerism and demonstrates an understanding of the receiver in some way. To that end, the list that follows is meant to be more recipient-centric as opposed to a batch of Basic gifts that are inherently likable, inoffensive, but perhaps a bit impersonal.
(Edit: I ended up adding a category for the Basic gift because we’re not going to be able to nail it every time. Christmas is also about cutting yourself some slack.)
For the Fashionista
Experience: I was reading an article about the blogger behind Accidental Icon (follow her!) and they discussed how she took classes at FIT as a creative outlet. As it turns out, FIT has a ton of non-credit courses that all look incredibly interesting—and they have online ones, too! I honestly want to do this myself.
Tangible Item: Greats Sneakers—Italian leather, comfortable, sleek, and chic. I get so many compliments on mine!
For the Would-Be Entrepreneur
Experience: Do you have a friend looking to start a business or a blog? If they haven’t taken the dot-com plunge yet, buy the domain name for them. If they have a couple of ideas they’re kicking around, give them an IOU on the domain name to help jump-start their decision. I bought mine on Bluehost—costs vary depending on the name you choose, but this is usually pretty inexpensive and incredibly easy to do. (Pro tip: don’t Google the name before buying or it can ramp the price up!)
Tangible Item: You Are A Badass: One of my dear friends gave this book to me recently and I thought it was awesome and not too schmaltzy or self-help-y.
For the New Boy/Girlfriend
Tangible Item: One of the things I did when my boyfriend (now fiancé!) and I started dating was to take screen shots of our early texts and compile them in a book on Shutterfly. (I got this idea from Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance). It’s hilarious to have a written record of your early communication, and it’s also pretty thoughtful without going over-the-top on spending.
For Someone Who Has Everything
Experience: Give the gift of giving, literally, by donating in their name to a site like Donors Choose. This site was a godsend when I used to be a teacher—most public school teachers use their own money to outfit their classrooms with the necessities, and Donors Choose helps give teachers and students the supplies they need to have an enriching classroom.
Tangible Item: Don’t even try. They have everything, remember?
For the Hipster With a Handlebar Mustache
Experience: A straight-razor shave.
Tangible Item: A razor to shave their mustache off. Just kidding! Not.
The Basic (Inherently Likeable, Inoffensive & Perhaps a Bit Impersonal)