If you have followed my blog for a while, you probably know that I am not a big shopper of "stuff". I believe the day after Thanksgiving is Buy Nothing Day. That said, I am not a grinch!
Last year we started a new Christmas tradition - giving experiences, instead of things. So it got me thinking - what would be a good gift for others - if you didn't just want to give them an item. I compiled a list of 15 gifts of no-things. If you have someone you need help with for a proper non-gift present - and my list doesn't do it - leave a comment with some information, and I will try and help!
My Top 15 Waste- Free Gift Suggestions
For the foodie on your list - check out the classes at the Sacramento Natural Food Co-op.
They have classes ranging from Raising Chickens in your Backyard, to
The Art and Science of Cheesemaking : Blue Cheese, to Meat and
Potatoes. They even offer parenting classes.
For the person who is indulging in holiday treats and swearing they will start exercising in the new year - How about the gift of fitness? My favorite Roseville gym, Tru Fitness, has a gift membership, and it even has perks! If the person you buy the membership for joins the gym long-term - you get a free month. Information on Tru Fitness gift options can be seen here.
For the person who is obsessed with the Hunger Games - How about some archery classes? You can check out Mayan Archery. They have after school classes for kids, and my son loved it!
Interested in learning a musical instrument? The ukelele has skyrocketed in popularity, with artists like Pat Monahan of Train (Hey Soul Sister) adding this compact instrument to their popular songs. You can learn to strum enough chords to play several songs with just a few hours of classes. Check out the lessons offered at the Strum Shop in Roseville.
For the art collector on your list, Why not support Blue Line Arts and buy them a ticket to the Lottery for the Arts? The Lottery for the Arts is a fundraising event that provides art
collectors with an opportunity to acquire original works of fine art,
while supporting a non-profit organization and community of artists.
Dreaming about seeing a show on Broadway? For the theater lover on your list - you can buy tickets to a see Broadway shows in Sacramento, at the Community Center Theater. For a list of upcoming shows, look here. My father gave us tickets to see Les Miserables last year, and it was amazing.
Always pinning pictures on Pinterest, but never actually making anything? Check out ReCreate's new CRAFT: Beer and Art classes. A casual opportunity to learn how to take on a new art project, while drinking a craft beer, will chase your artistic jitters away! Gift certificates available. ReCreate offers classes for hands-on art adventures for both kids and adults. For more information, visit the website. (Full disclosure - I am the Executive Director of ReCreate).
Have an animal lover on your list? How about a special outing to the zoo? Better yet, support the zoo and purchase a membership. Information can be found here for the Sacramento Zoo or the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary.
For the ocean lover, how about a boat ride to go whale watching. My family loves Monterey Bay and we frequent the central coast often. It is our "Disneyland." A few months back, we went on our first Whale Watching Tour with Monterey Bay Whale Watch and all I can say is WOW. This year has been particularly good for whale watching, as you can see with this CBS news clip. You can get information here.
For the hands-on artisan, How about a glass blowing class? I took a session in Berkeley at Revere Glass last year and loved it. We made marbles, small ornaments and swizzle sticks in our class. Revere Glass class information is here.
Is your kid obsessed with borrowing your tablet to play a game, or learning about the latest mods in Minecraft? Why not turn that tech passion into a productive skill, and give them an online class in programming. Digital Youth offers online programming classes in Building Games, Apps, 3-D Games, and even Minecraft Mods.
Do you have the gift of being a good writer? A very thoughtful gift for any parent would be a letter or a poem written by their child, brother, sister or friend. Many years ago, I wrote a booklet instead of a Christmas card - where I write a blurb about a memory I had from each person on my list. Someone I sent it to recently told me they still had theirs. It warmed my heart to know they enjoyed it that much.
For the super-busy person on your list? Offer to take their car for a wash, or even help them with their laundry one day. It may seem like a dull present, but truly - if you are always running around - you just want to catch up, and not feel frenzied.
Finally - for the person who is starting to feel their age - take them out for an adventure to remember the simple joys of being a youth. Start with a trip down a slide or some swinging at a local playground, and then go do your favorite childhood hobby. You can race remote controlled cars at Fast Track Hobbies or Roller skate at Roller King. Just be careful you don't break anything. Regardless of where you go and what you do, spending time together is really the gift.
These gifts make great memories, and no waste. Giving No-thing can really be something!