What do you get for your friends who desperately do not want more items to take up space in their homes?
Gift Card (to be used for groceries, high quality places)
I know that some people avoid buying gift cards because they feel that they are impersonal. But as a person who is incredibly selective when it comes to my purchases and belongings, I appreciate a gift card as it allows me to check things off my wishlist and to avoid feeling guilty if I were to receive something that I don't necessarily like. You can make this a more personal gift simply by taking into consideration the tastes and needs of the person you're buying for. For instance, a gift card to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's is great for any young adult or college student.
Tickets to an event
Buying tickets to to a concert, ballet, theme park, or special event is a perfect gift since it involves no physical objects whatsoever. Whether you plan on attending the event alongside the person or not, giving the gift of an experience is something that often keeps giving. Another idea is to give an airline gift card so that the recipient can buy a plane ticket to a destination of their choosing.
Especially in the times we are now facing, charitable donations are more appreciated than ever. Keep in mind the personal interests of the individual when choosing the organization to which you will donate. Some timely ideas are the ACLU, Dakota Access Pipeline Donation Fund, The Sierra Club Foundation, and Doctors Without Borders. You can also make a donation or give a gift card to Kiva, which allows you to invest in projects started by individuals around the world. I received a Kiva gift card last Christmas and donated the money to a girl in Palestine who was looking to make important repairs on her family's home before winter. It's been really exciting to watch her achieve her goal and begin paying back the money over the year.
Things that you can eat and drink are perfect gifts since they quickly disappear. Be conscious of the contents and packaging if your recipient is vegan, gluten-free, or adheres to a zero-waste lifestyle. Some easy ideas for consumable gifts are beautiful tins of tea, coffee from an independent roaster, a gift basket from Harry & David, a subscription to a meal planning service, or a nice bottle of champagne. Some great fair trade options can be found at the Equal Exchange co-op online store.
Plan a Day Together
For close friends and family, a wonderful gift could simply be a day together. You can be as meticulous or as free-spirited as you want with this. One unforgettable gift that I've received was when two of my best friends planned a congratulatory tea when I was accepted to the college I attended. It was so well thought out, beautiful, and totally unexpected but a gift that I still appreciate today. You could plan a tea, lunch, brunch, or dinner or even a fun, themed movie day. You could also take the person out for lunch and a manicure or spend the whole day at a hotel or spa together.
What kinds of non-material gifts do you like to receive or give?