As December draws near, many of us are busy determining what holiday gifts can be easily purchased and conveniently wrapped up and decorated with some ribbon.
This season, try to avoid making hasty purchasing decisions and buying a large quantity of merchandise that has been mass produced overseas. Instead, take the time to look at what products and services are available in your local community and show concern for the well-being of your hardworking business neighbors.
Following are some ideas for Out of the Box Giving:
Does your intended have a favorite eatery? This holiday season focus on locally-owned restaurants. Owners of these establishments rely on the success of their business to provide for their families. Gift your intended a certificate or two to the restaurant or take her or him there for a holiday meal. Don’t forget the servers; tip generously.
Follow the meal with an evening of entertainment. Find a community theater in your town, or a venue that regularly hosts local music or talent. This is a great way to support up and coming artists. Support your local community theater with a pair of season passes.
Instead of forking over a ton of cash for cheap plastic lights and other decorations, consider a more impactful use for your money. Attend a local craft fair to purchase ornaments and other decorations. This will give your gifts a more personal touch. Holiday craft fairs are often run by religious organizations or nonprofits who provide local charitable services.
Tip a hardworking service provider, such as a package delivery man or garbage man, or leave a house cleaner or baby sitter a large tip. Do you have gardeners, doormen, personal trainers, or others who regularly serve you? You may want to consider tipping them as well.
Most people get their hair cut frequently. Does your intended have a favorite local beautician, barber, or hair stylist? Ask them for gift certificates. Also, consider tipping your barber or stylist extra for the holidays.
Has your intended expressed an interest in car detail or repair? Would he or she like vehicle modifications? Any locally owned shop would be happy to supply certificates for these services. And don’t forget about oil changes. Most people need them every few months. Also, consider a book of coupons for a local car wash. Everyone’s car gets dirty from time to time.
Are you trying to figure out how big your next flat screen should be? Is a replacement really necessary? Maybe your family would spend less time in front of the TV with a gym membership. There are plans available for all ages and discounts for families.
Does mom need a break? Hire a local cleaning person to come before or after a large get-together at your home. Perhaps a local carpet cleaning service would also be appropriate after a family event.