I wasn’t going to do much blogging on holiday shopping, but people keep asking me what kind of stuff I’m buying for Christmas gifts or what are good gifts to give that give back to people in need? So here it is… my brain dump on Christmas shopping. Yes, I call it Christmas shopping, not holiday shopping. I suppose we could also call it Black Friday shopping. It seems as though that’s become a bigger holiday than the actual Christmas holiday we’re shopping for.
Now that I think about it, these principals could apply all year long and to any holiday where it is customary to give a gift. Birthdays and Christmas are the two big ones.
So what gift shopping is considered good? Shopping in and of itself is not bad, it’s some of the things associated with it that are bad. Debt is bad. Buying gifts for people you don’t want to buy gifts for because you’ve succumbed to the cultural purchasing pressure is bad. Buying people stuff they don’t want or need is bad. Spoiling kids with a bunch of stuff they don’t need is bad. If it’s the thought that counts, then let’s think about it. There are many positive ways to shop, supporting good for humanity, the environment and for your pocketbook.
Service, not stuff.
You might believe our country is using up most of our planets’ resources and you might be trying to lower your carbon footprint as much as possible, or you might even think that’s all an bunch of hype. No matter which end of the spectrum you’re on, buying services versus physical goods is, well, all around good. Why?
- You’re supporting a skill or a trade.
- You’re helping the economy without physical stuff.
- You don’t have to worry if the recipient likes your gift, and the best part? No looking around their house to make sure they’re using the item you gave them and no getting your feelings hurt when they tell you the dog broke it.
- Maybe the gift recipients will get this concept too, then they won’t give you anymore giant golf ball candles, Chia pets or Santa figures that poop candy.
- Most service places have gift cards or gift certificates.
- It takes less time to shop because you can shop at places you do business while everyone else is in line at W*%#@!t.
- There’s a better chance they’ll have a need for a service than a need for more stuff. If you need something, or even want something, you go buy it, right? Why would your giftees be any different? Well, they could be unemployed. If that’s the case, they have needs, not wants.
So what are good services to buy? There are many choices here, some more practical than others. Some of these services could be provided by you, which means no cost to you other than your time. Continue reading