Holiday Gift Guide: Embracing The True Holiday Spirit

Kelsey Rumburg
3 min readDec 22, 2021

As Christmas approaches, we are plagued with what we can give to those that we love in our life. It’s easy to get carried away with all of the commercials on television, promotions on social media, and our local stores becoming a madhouse fraught with people panicking to buy those special gifts.

It’s important to not get caught up in the commercialism of the holiday season. As we continue this important journey toward a more sustainable environment, we don’t want to contribute two more trash going to our landfills. Today, let’s focus on what we can give the people in our lives without spending money on gifts that they may or may not use.

  • Presence vs Presents: For friends and family members, one of the greatest gifts you can give them is your presence. Instead of spending money on a gift for them why not find out how you can physically be there for them. For instance, your grandparents are getting older and they treasure the time they get to spend with loved ones. A gift to them would be making memories with them right now. Spend-a-day baking Grandma’s favorite treats with her. Take Grandpa fishing. Or how about coordinating a road trip with your siblings or cousins? Do you have a family member or friend who is doing some home renovation projects and is feeling a little overwhelmed? Why not spend a day or two with them and help them get some of those projects done? You see, good memories are the best gift you can give.
  • If you really want to spend money on friends and family this year, why not ask a few questions? Find out what these people truly need in their lives. We all want things, but sometimes when you fulfill a need it is far greater than any wanted item. For example, this last year 2 has been financially hard on a lot of people. Maybe someone is having a hard time paying a utility bill or making a car payment. Maybe someone is having to move into a smaller, more affordable home and could use very specific items? Or perhaps someone is struggling to pay daycare costs. These are all things that are needed and would be a blessing if they were no longer a problem or worry.
  • Gift cards/certificates are not impersonal! For a long time gift cards have been negatively branded. Mostly, by businesses that want you to buy their products and services. But the notion caught on. If you ask around, people will tell you that they prefer gift cards over gifts. Why? Because they can choose items that they truly want or need whereas it’s more of a guessing game when you pick for them. Gift cards are reusable and some stores will recycle them for you if you no longer have a need for them. Why not find out what the people on your shopping list need and then give them a gift card so there is less chance of a wasteful Christmas?

These are all very good ideas for a greener environment and a less wasteful lifestyle. Christmas is one of the most wasteful events of the year. Most of which can be avoided. According to an in-depth study, people throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Years In America. That amounts to about 25 million tons of excess garbage. Australia and the UK report approximately the same in their regions. Imagine that, how much waste can be prevented by simply changing the way we look at what “gifts” mean to people and how we can serve them better while also taking into consideration the impact on our environment.

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Kelsey Rumburg

As an adventurous farm girl, I am a creator on a mission to build a better economy. I question our idea of trash and look for new ways to use our resources!