Tis the Season for Giving…And Giving Back

By: Jean Boynton

Tis the Season for Giving…And Giving Back

Tags: christmas, alternative gift,support local, out of the box


The Best Christmas present we can give our local communities is by giving them our business and our support, not just during this time of year, but for the other 11 months as well.

If you want your holidays to be a little less materialistic, use this list of alternative Christmas gift ideas to show your loved ones how much you appreciate them. Each gift idea on this list is a gift that will keep on giving.

We don't know who came up with this alternate Christmas shopping suggestion list, but boy oh boy was that person bang on the mark.

Give your loved one the gift of relaxation by paying for a  housekeeping services. Anyone who ever said money can't buy happiness has never seen a sleep-deprived mom ugly cry while running her hands along a sparkling counter top.

Some people don’t think they’ve done enough to “earn” it so they keep putting it off. Let me tell you, if you aren’t going to stretch every day and foam roll, you might as well pay for someone else to do it because it can be LIFE CHANGING. There are many professionals available in our local community . No excuses, there are even mobile massage therapists to accommodate everyone's hectic schedules.

As soon as you give them a nice haircut, a fresh haircut, it makes them feel better about themselves, makes them feel really good about themselves, and [gives them] more confidence. For example, it is suggested that we give gift certificates for hair cuts or hair styling as everyone, at some point has to get their hair done or trimmed. With pressures around the holidays, haircuts can become a luxury people can't afford.

Gym memberships are also suggested as a way to improve no only the health of the person you are buying for but the health of the local economy as well. Better yet, a personal trainer. This is probably of the most awesome gifts to give. Most people would not think of this as a gift idea so it’s pretty creative, plus, it can give the recipient some serious insight on whether or not their form is correct during certain exercises, which exercises to do and how to start piecing together a fitness plan of their own. A personal training session has the potential to expose a person to a whole, new world of fitness they didn’t even know existed.

People tend to get so busy during the holiday season, trying to fit in enough time to get their decorations ready and all their gifts purchased before the celebrations begin. At the same time, they have to contend with normal work duties, chores at home and other pressing tasks. Of course, being extra busy around this time of year can throw you off schedule when it comes to taking care of your automobile. Give the gift of car detailing.

Drive-Thru Surprise.This is one of the easiest ways to do something kind for a complete stranger. The next time you go through the drive-thru to get your morning cup of coffee or lunch, pay for the person behind you. That’s it! You’ll drive away before they’ll know what you did so they won’t get a chance to thank you, but you’ll know that you totally made a stranger’s day.

Another easy way to do good over the holiday season is to randomly increase your tips to 50 or 100 percent when you go out to eat. Write a simple "Our family wishes you and yours a very happy holiday!" on your bill, and leave your server a nice tip.

It's also recommended that we frequent the local craft shows and support local artisans and give their creations as a Christmas gift. Supporting locally owned and operated restaurants is another way to support the local economy and ensure that local jobs are preserved.

The gift of time is not only one of the most meaningful gifts, but it can be one of the most helpful. Everyone could use additional help in some area of their life – whether it’s shovelling snow, organizing, cleaning up the lawn, or a special project.

Helping them for an afternoon might not even feel like much work to you, but the recipient will surely appreciate your help.

Holiday Shopping Doesn't Have to be Boring or Commercial.