A Stuff-Free Holidays

Dec 14th

This time of year it’s really hard to avoid the consumer treadmill. There are advertisements everywhere. Commercials running almost none stop. And the holiday music. Oh, the holiday music. It’s enough to make your run out and grab some hot cocoa and a mountain-worth of the festively wrapped gifts!


While small kids can make gift giving unavoidable, for your adult-sized friends and family consider approaching gifts in a new light. Rather than gift stuff (and the word “stuff” is all encompassing), consider gifting experiences or consumables.

For example:

  • Movie tickets for your cinema-loving younger brother
  • Wine and good-quality cheese for your favorite hostess
  • A gift certificate to a fancy restaurant for your favorite foodies
  • A year long zoo pass for your sisters family with kids
  • A spa-day for your best friend (in fact, get one for yourself and go together!)
  • Hand made sugar scrub or whipped body butter (I’ll have a recipe posted shortly!) for your teenage niece
  • A bottle of good rum/ whiskey (insert favorite drink) for your husband
  • A Discovery Pass (Washington State only) or other access pass for hiking/ national parks for your outdoorsey pal.

The list of options goes on and on. The point is that we don’t need to give stuff. 99% of the stuff we buy ends up in the landfill within 6 months(1). That’s avoidable. Instead of adding to the piles of rubbish filling the trash can after the holidays, consider giving experiences or consumables instead.

(1) CNN transcripts. The Negative Side Effects to a Consumer-Driven Economy is Explored.