Gifts of Impermanence

BlogHer Original Post

If you have ever moved - ever packed up your worldly belongings and lugged them from place to place - then you will appreciate this rhetorical question: How much 'stuff' does one really need? Other than a ukulele and a grain grinder, I can't say I want for anything right now, which is why I'm asking my Loved Ones to gift me (and others) with Things That Go Away. For example:

Candles

Pillars of fragrant (or non) waxy goodness are everywhere - you could not escape them if you tried. Grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, craft stores, liquor stores, farmers markets and quirky boutiques, not to mention online. My mother has a giant drawer with candles "too pretty to use" - a sad concept. Candles are lit every evening in my home, as a form of nightly ritual, and they create a calming mood like nothing else can. Beeswax candles are especially yummy and drip-free are preferred.


Soap

Image: infomatique via Flickr

 

Soap

At some point, everyone showers, so a soap gift will most assuredly not be collecting dust over the years. (Unless you are my mother, and then you would keep a special drawer for that too.) I'm a huge fan of LUSH soaps and Etsy has a gajillion homemade offerings. The button soap is especially cute. 

Lotions/Scrubs

In this realm, I'm committed to products that do not test on animals, which is pretty easy to apply nowadays, thank goodness. Again, I go back to LUSH (Skin Drink is my all time favorite facial application) but am also partial to Body Shop, Burt's Bees and Bath & Body Works. Lotion goes especially fast if you live in a dry climate like mine where it is always appreciated. (Seriously, they pass around tubes of lotion at parties, like a friggin' J.) 

Food

Maybe it's something you have cooked up and packaged yourself, or maybe it's something fancy from Harry & David. Maybe it's the most delicious handmade chocolate you have ever tasted from a remote roadside stand or those incredibly addictive suckers from See's Candy. Either way, food is love. Unless it's a fruitcake, and then it's just a threat.   

Booze

Depending on the recipient, this could mean something region-specific from a microbrewery or a tawny port from that fancy grog store down the street. Maybe it's a bottle of vino that matches their dining tastes or some bubbly to celebrate the holidays. Once again, my mother keeps a special closet (in my brother's old room) full of wine gifts for "social emergencies." (Much too much White Zinfandel leftover from the 80s, I'm afraid.) Or better yet, a fat bottle of their favorite bottle of hard alcohol. (Maker's Mark for me, thanks.) For non-drinkers, fancy Italian soda will delight equally.

Flowers

Usually, people received floral arrangements on Mother's Day or Valentine's Day so this gift throws them a little, which is awesome. Seniors especially enjoy holiday floral arrangements as they bring lots of joy and fragrance with little or no maintenance.

Lessons/Classes

This is the gift that no one ever expects: hands-on knowledge. Find out their newest interest and encourage that passion with some expert instruction. I bought a local tennis clinic for my brother and am seeking clay sculpture classes for his wife, who once exhibited freakishly natural sculpting abilities with a hunk of snow. Fact is, they have way too much stuff already, what they need now are enriching ways to unwind.

Memberships/Subscriptions

Again, tailored to a recipients' lifestyle and interests. A Netflix subscription or Massage Envy membership could go a long way toward helping someone chill out. In the other direction, maybe a gym membership (careful with this one, guys) a Toastmasters group could get someone off the couch and out of their shell.  

Spa Treatments

Getting pampered for 30 minutes or an hour is one of the most luxurious experiences a human can have. A gift certificate, likely redeemed in post-holiday wind-down of 2012, will be treasured more than you can imagine.

House Cleaning

I know there are some of you freaks out there who like to clean but I am not one of them and I'm guessing I have company. What would you rather receive, yet another photo frame, an ugly sweater or a spotless house?

Right.

Happy Holidays!

~Heather

BlogHer Section Editor, LIFE & GREEN; Contributing Editor, Animal & Wildlife Concerns; Proprietor, ClizBiz

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