Celebrate a low tech Christmas in a high tech world

Lehman's Homemade Jam

Lehman’s Homemade Jam

It’s no surprise that retailers predict technology will be at the top of many holiday wish lists again this year. But if you’re not techno-savvy, or not comfortable with the expense of high-tech gifts, there is good news: low-tech and “no-tech” gifts can still fit every taste and budget.

“Simple, non technology gifts will always be in style,” predicts Glenda Lehman Ervin, a gift-giving expert with Lehman’s old-time general store. “Items, like food, linens, cookware, lotions and scents, and old-fashioned toys can be wonderful gifts – to give and receive – for people who are not necessarily plugged in to the high-tech trend. They can also be refreshing and fun alternatives for the “tekkies” in your life.”

Lehman Ervin, whose family-run business has sold simple, technology-free gifts for over 50 years, offers the following tips for 10 low-tech gifts sure to enhance any holiday wish list:

  1. Low-tech doesn’t mean leaving good engineering behind. “Engineering existed long before circuit boards and silicone,” Lehman Ervin says. “The Swiss Army Knife, for example, is an engineering marvel and still a great gift for practically any guy in your life.” Tech-heads might enjoy the simplicity and elegant engineering of well-made mechanical devices, like a water-powered alarm clock.
  2. Food is a very personal gift. “Nearly everyone loves to indulge at the holidays,” says Lehman Ervin. “While chocolate Santas are always welcome, don’t forget that your food gift can be anything the person loves, from their favorite homemade granola to something that may evoke memories of childhood and a simpler time, like Shoofly Pie or a selection of Grandma-style jams. ” Kitchen aids are also a great gift for anyone with even a modest interest in the culinary arts. Items that help cooks make their ownpasta, cider and ice cream blend a personal touch with practicality and nostalgia. Lehman’s hand-crank ice cream freezers and noodle makers are always popular sellers at the holidays.
  3. Organic and green gifts make both the giver and the recipient feel good. “Giving a ‘green’ gift is not only sensible and caring, it’s also trendy and very contemporary, ”Lehman Ervin says. Industries from home improvement to home goods are now marketing eco-friendly products and services, many of which are great gifts. “For example, Lehman’s fairly traded gourmet coffee and organic cotton kitchen linens are both popular items that are made from products organically grown and harvested according to agricultural sustainability practices,” she says.
  4. Everyone needs a little pampering now and then, and personal care items can do the trick. If you’re tired of giving the same old scented lotions, try something different, but still tried and tested, like Pure Emu Oil, which has been used by Australian aborigines for thousands of years to combat the signs of aging. You can find something for even the manliest of men who might think personal care is too feminine for them. Lehman’s carries old-fashioned Bag Balm, the moisturizer of choice for decades for farmers and laborers whose work is hard on the hands.
  5. Balloon Boat

    Balloon Boat

    Choose children’s toys that exercise their imaginations and their whole bodies – not just their video-game control fingers. “The lowest tech toys – like an old fashioned wagon, kazoo or hand-made doll – can provide maximum stimulation and enjoyment,” Lehman Ervin says. “Plus, you’ll feel more connected to the child by giving them the kind of toy you played with yourself, like balloon-powered boats, a rocking horse or Fiddlesticks. ” Lehman’s stocks more than 50 toys made in the United States.

To find low-tech gifts like Shoofly Pie, organic cotton kitchen linens or nostalgic children’s toys, visit www.lehmans.com

Glenda Ervin

About Glenda Ervin

Lehman’s Vice President of Marketing and daughter of founder Jay Lehman. She has filled her home with Lehman's products, and enjoys the challenge of using low tech in a high tech life. In addition to media relations and advertising for Lehman's, she speaks to groups about the history of Lehman's and the unique growth of the family owned and operated business.