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Tips for an Eco-Friendly & Meaningful Holiday Season: Gift-Giving

Looking for ways to cut back this year, or simply interested in learning how you can make your holiday season more special for you or your family? Pottawattamie Conservation has your back.

The holidays are meant to be a joyous time of celebration and reflection. However, many of us have found ourselves overwhelmed or stressed in the aftermath of attending (or hosting) one party after another, overextending our budget on gifts or food, or being in close quarters with family or other individuals we’d, well, maybe rather not be in close quarters with.

To help you enjoy this holiday season as much as possible, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks to help you focus on the things that really matter: our relationships with ourselves, others, and the world around us.

Before we get into it, here are some ideas for anyone who is spending the holiday season alone including creative ways to celebrate solo. Even if you aren’t in a celebratory mood, there are still so many ways to make the most of your time and possibly even enjoy yourself, too!

Part 1 of 3: Tips for Gift-Giving

Gift-giving isn't a part of everyone's holiday season, but for those of us who do exchange gifts, it might be what causes the most heartburn! Check out these tips and ideas to make gift-giving what it should be about: celebrating and appreciating each other.

  • Make a family or friend re-gifting pact this holiday season. While it might be hard to feel like regifting something is ok when it’s just you doing it, encouraging your group to join in and change up their gift-giving habits can make this a fun game full of surprises, possible silliness, and stories. Doesn’t that sound more fun, exciting, and meaningful than getting exactly what you ask for?
  • Ditch the gifts completely and do something as a group instead, even if it’s enjoying a meal and your company together. At the end of the day, the holiday season can be whatever you want it to be! Even better, do something as a group where you give back to your community.
  • Experiences as gifts, of course, are all the rage. And they can be homemade if you have the creativity for it.
  • DIY gifts aren’t for everyone, but for those of you with a crafty hand and the time and patience necessary for creating, your gift will be more cherished than anything you could buy at the store (by most people, that is…). Here are some DIY natural and nature-inspired gift ideas that adults and kids can make!
  • Simply dial back the gift giving to one or two meaningful or significant gifts per person. This can get tricky for some families with kids or a new grandbaby you want to spoil, but try to find a reasonable number to settle on. Does a two-year-old really need 15 different toys? As many of us know, they’d probably be just as happy playing with Tupperware!
  • Related to giving back to your community, consider making a group decision to purchase items needed at a local homeless shelter, donate food to a pantry, or find another worthy cause to support such as sending care packages to college students in need, nursing home residents, or members of the military who are stationed away from home. This easily lends itself to a friendly competition that’s all for the good. Check out Share Iowa's "Shop for Good" section and pick items from local nonprofit organizations' wishlists.

 

Stay tuned for "Part 2: Tips for Saving Your Energy" and "Part 3: Tips for Saving Energy Around the House".

 

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