Unconventional gifts to give this Chrismukkah
Avoid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season by trying some of these present ideas
Christmas is messed up.
Lots are jammed, malls are rammed and we race around in giant plastic cars to fill giant plastic bags with heaps of giant plastic toys to set under giant plastic trees.
Toss another box on the pile! Now, I’m definitely guilty, too. But my wife and I are always trying to pull back, pare down and get intentional about what we’re giving every year. Perfect’s over there, we’re over here, but still: here are some unconventional gifts we have given or received in the past few years, which have helped dial down the insanity while dialing up the intimacy:
A batch of your homemade spaghetti sauce
Whip up a big batch of the good stuff and put it into jars for all your loved ones. Also works with salsa, jam or granola. For bonus points, cut out some little checkered cloths with pinking shears and wrap them around the lids with string.
Most things in your Grandma’s closet don’t age well. Socks. Pantyhose. Reading glasses. Pink track pants. But jewelry is an exception. The story of a specific bracelet or pair of earrings only deepens, lengthens and intensifies with time.
“It’s the ring your grandfather bought me on our 10th anniversary,” or “I bought these earrings for my prom back in Timmins.” The story of old jewelry is the story of the milestones in your life. Also applies to hoodies, watches or anything else special you think someone else might love.
A travel water bottle
By some estimates, there are now more than a million people in airplanes at any given time. That’s, like, a lot. And I don’t know about you, but running to my gate in the screen-n-perfume-n-dead-eye-balled tank that is the modern airport always makes me thirsty.
So, I buy some $8 bottle of water, chug it and chuck the plastic brick it came in into the trash. Horrible! I may as well personally strangle a pickerel.
But what’s the solution? Well, a travel water bottle that dangles on the outside of a backpack. Perfect for airport tap water fill-ups. And a nice reminder of a loved one when you’re far away.
A different version of their
favourite book When I interviewed my favourite bookseller Sarah Ramsey for 3 Books, she told me she had four copies of Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume.
What? Why? Well! It’s her favourite book, they have different covers, one of them is signed — you get the idea. Why is this such a brilliant move? Because you already know they love it. Now they get an edition that’s different because of the cover or format or signature inside. It also ups your gift-giving cred if you pored through endless used bookstore bins to find the gem. HALIFAX5