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 very good news: low-tech and “no-tech” gifts can still fit every taste and budget, and they’re often a welcome change from more complicated gadgets.
“Simple, non-technology gifts will always be in style,” says Glenda Lehman Ervin, Vice President of Marketing for Lehman’s. “Items like food, linens, cookware, lotions, candles 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 tech-heads in your life.”
Lehman Ervin offers the following tips for low-tech gifts sure to enhance any holiday wish list:
- 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.
- Food is a very personal gift. “Nearly everyone loves to indulge a little 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 their favorite Grandma-style jam.” The Lehman’s store and catalog offer several sampler-type food baskets (including an entire pail of old-time candy) for a true taste of the past.Kitchen aids are also a great gift for anyone with even a modest interest in the culinary arts. Items that help cooks make their own pasta, 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.
- 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, our fairly traded gourmet coffee and 100% Cotton Dishcloths and Kitchen Towels are both popular items that are made from products organically grown and harvested according to agricultural sustainability practices,” she says.
- 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 skins 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, and Hardworker’s Hand Cream, specifically created to soothe and heal carpenters’ dry, cracked skin.
- 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 handmade 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 a rocking horse or wooden Fiddlesticks.” Lehman’s stocks more than 50 toys made in the United States.