The Gift of Giving


December 2nd already?  Seriously?  Does each passing month of the year seem to go a little quicker than the last, or is it just me?  Confession: I have not bought a single holiday present.  Or birthday present for that matter and I’ve got 3 sibling’s birthday’s this month!

I love giving gifts but always find it overwhelming this time of year, despite always resolving (and failing) to take care of it earlier than the year before.

Part of my gift giving dilemma is not wanting to create more waste or clutter in people’s lives.  We all know that, inevitably, some gifts get re-gifted, thrown away, donated, or worse-stuck in a closet to take up space and collect dust.

Food gifts are great but not everyone appreciates my sense of culinary adventure (or maybe they just don’t share my love of sugar-free baking 😉 ).  Jewelry is usually a pleaser with the female crowd but I haven’t seen anything lately that stood out to me and was budget friendly.  Gift certs are awesome in theory but sometimes end up becoming an obligation to the receiver, and an obligation is not a present.

Help! Do you have any great, green, gift ideas?

Today’s schedule is tight, we are going from work straight to the first Friday gallery stroll and a dance performance.  I had planned on a run and Pilates today but it looks like my workout will be push ups behind the desk between checking patients out!


  1. We bought half a cow from the college farm where I work. Everyone’s getting humanely-raised, organic beef! I love the idea of giving food – it’s useful and nourishing and in this case, will feed my peeps good quality meat all year!

  2. The above posted before I was done… anyway, one idea is canning a bunch of things – go to the farmer’s market and get some late season apples and make apple butter. Or something pickled (yum!). I canned a bunch of salsa a few months ago, and that’s getting given this year as well!

  3. I usually give something homemade in the food category to people, and then to those who are very close (family, close friends) we donate money in their name to purchase something like a goat or pig for people in need in other countries. Various organization do this, and we make a print-out with photoshop to accompany it that they can put on their fridge to remind them.

    • I have a better idea. You’re such a wonderful photographer. Choose one of your fabulous close-up shots and turn them into notecards, a calendar or even a framed print. There are also many on-line options for original photography gifts these days. (Sorry for the errant coconut pancake comment.)

  4. I second the photography idea — you have so many beautiful shots, it would be wonderful for people to enjoy them in print.
    I am completely with you on gift-giving dilemmas. I’ve been trying to incredibly reduce our waste output as well as material possessions, so I don’t want a bunch of stuff. I hate contributing to hyperconsumerism & another person’s potential clutter. Food gifts are good, but not everyone appreciates my sugar-free/vegan baking either. 🙂 (Unless they don’t know, then they seem to like it fine. 😉 ) Something like this is really thoughtful though & fruit jams & butters seem safer. Used books, music, journals are other favorites of mine. I’m going to try to make tinted lip balm for friends. I was thinking of doing a little post next week about greener/thoughtful gifts — I love everyone’s ideas here.

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