Monday, September 19, 2016

Simplified Gifts

Let's simplify gift-giving.  For a post about simplicity, there is a lot to consider!  Here are some gift ideas.

Digital books and audiobooks or a gift certificate are generally appreciated.  The same goes for music.  Amazon/kindle even has a few immersion books where budding readers can read and listen at the same time!

Consumables are generally appreciated.  Sometimes we make vanilla extract or peppermint lip balm.  (Eric likes to make a decadent peppermint bark or fudge too.)  Some years I have made hand warmers or herbal scrubs.  We've considered spice blends we like since we already make them at home.

If you really want to bless a young family, a gift certificate for someone to come clean might be neat--or maybe a furniture/carpet cleaning service.  Some families could use a lawn service to come get those leaves up or someone to help winterize the cars or the house.  Passes to zoos/museums and vouchers for a really good haircut or massage also come to mind.

Exercising friends/family?  No problem: there are even online subscriptions for them.  I know more about the yoga options since that's my own interest, and there are several options.  The most affordable and expansive seems to be Gaia's.

A word about physical subscriptions: many of them come with clutter/junk and offer a lot to the landfill.  I am usually excited at first blush.  The same goes for crafting kits.  Once something is "made," where does the related stuff end up?  If it's turned into a gift, I can get behind that.  Still, we have to be careful not to fill our spaces or others' spaces with creative clutter a la happy meal toys.  Even the little cooking club we did for just two months had a little box of "stuff" we had to deal with each time.

Tickets to a show, a concert or movies are exciting gifts to receive.  (I still remember when my parents surprised us Christmas morning with New Kids on the Block tickets!!!) seems like a great gift for people interested in their family (hi)story. is an interesting gift that most people haven't heard of yet.  It consolidates all that online stuff.  It reminds me of paypal but for passwords.  I heard of one gal who uses this being super grateful when she had someone hack into one of her accounts/emails.  It was very easy to fix things.
Earth Warriors is an online nature club for families.  I LOVE Heidi Huebner's work in general and appreciate her approach to integrating the natural into family life.  They really practice what they preach too!

Sparkle Stories are available on pretty much any device and have offered more to our little family than I will ever be able to fully describe.  The stories have lessons, crafts and recipes that go along with the stories, and there are so many different series based on interest and age.  These are gifts for children but also for their parents.
Kids Online Cooking Class by Kitchen Stewardship should be available again starting in October.  Children really can cook if we know which tasks are age-appropriate and are open to some messes.  If your kids are like mine, they like to help in the kitchen.

There are some amazing courses available online if you know someone with very particular interests.  In the simplicity realm, I have been LOVING Joshua Becker's Uncluttered.  Courtney Carver's Simple Year is also dynamite.

HerbMentor and Learning Herbs have some beginner herb things and even Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine type courses.  A larger investment in herbal training might be Thyme Herbal's class or Chestnut School of Herbalism's classes.

Neufeld Institute has awesome resources and courses for parents/teachers, and I have genuinely grown from Simplicity Parenting's offerings (and even became a family life coach).

Check out Red Balloon for a huge web of experiences that won't clutter up a loved one's space.

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