Gift giving is a language of love. It is one of my favorite ways to show the people in my life that they are important to me. Giving gifts not only shows affection and appreciation, but also shows that someone was thinking of you during their day. It is an all-around selfless act that makes everyone involved feel good.
The exchanging of thoughtful gifts is many people’s favorite part of the upcoming holiday season. Among the family gatherings, cheerful decorations, and near-constant Christmas carols that makes us love this season so dearly, giving and receiving presents is a big part of what makes the holidays, the holidays! When I am choosing gifts to give my loved ones during any time of the year, I try to give gifts that will create a lasting feeling of goodness in them. Why give someone a gift of fleeting pleasure rather than one that can be used continuously to keep giving them happiness repeatedly? This is why I love to give sustainable gifts – gifts that are health- and environment-conscious, gifts that help us live according to our values and, ultimately, help us live a simpler life.
1. The Gift of Wholesome Food, Year-Round
One idea of a gift to give someone that ensures them happiness time and time again when using it is canning supplies. Canning is a great way to save produce and save on grocery costs. As Eugenia Bone said, “canning is an extension of the values that made you shop at a farmers’ market in the first place.” Canning your own food makes produce last longer and makes you able to get everything you can out of your fresh fruits and vegetables. Anyone can do it! The supplies needed include a canner, canning accessories, jars and lids, and they would all make the perfect gift of sustainability!
2. The Gift of Reliable Light
Give the gift of light and low energy bills with lanterns and oil lamps. These beautiful light sources fill homes with a soft, warm glow that brings people together. This sustainable source of energy will never burn out during a power outage and will keep homes cozy and bright for hours.
3. The Gift of Togetherness
Unplugged fun is a scarcity among some families today, so give the present of a family game night! Giving someone a board game or another kind of fun, non-electric activity like train sets or a bubble wand not only gives them the actual gift, but also gives them the opportunity for a great family night of fun. Wooden toys, like Eli and Mattie, allow for nonstop, imaginative playtime, too.
4. The Gift of Self-Sufficiency
Give the gift of a simpler life by providing a non-electric appliance, like a well pump so they can retrieve their own water, or a Breathing Mobile Washer so they can start doing their laundry without electricity. This gift provides so much more than just material happiness. This gift lowers their bills, increases their sustainability, and can make for fun activities to do with children to teach them how to live in an eco-friendly way.
5. The Gift of Simple, Delicious Treats
Giving the gift of sustainability doesn’t have to mean changing the way someone lives. It can be as simple as gifting them with delicious treats that were made in a simple way! Lehman’s fudge made right there in Kidron is a great way to express appreciation for someone while giving them a sustainable gift. It is made using real butter and cream from sustainable sources. Their chocolate bark, buckeyes, and more are all made in the same way; right there at home, in a simple fashion.
When looking for gifts this holiday season, think beyond material. Think of giving someone a gift that can change the way they think about the world! Give the gift of a simpler, sustainable life.
Allison Ervin, granddaughter of company founder Jay Lehman, is passionate about the powerless – children, animals and anyone in need. A freshman at Kent State majoring in international business with a minor in non-profit management, she has served in Indonesia and Central America, teaching English in daycare centers and orphanages. A committed vegetarian, when not studying or cat-cuddling, Allison enjoys painting, listening to the latest music, and thrifting (shopping at thrift and vintage stores).