Over at Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op today there is a post gathering Simple, Green and Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas. Since I've already started on our gifts for this year I thought I'd add my two cents to the gathering.
Over the last few years I have been leaning more and more towards gifts that will be useful and not end up gathering dust somewhere. We are presumably giving gifts to people we care about, so why should we give them something that they will never use and perhaps may not even want?
For most of our friends and associates we will be giving "goodie bags" consisting of homemade goodies that are consumable, whether it be cookies, candies, nuts, or other treats with homemade jam or marmalade and perhaps some hand-blended tea added as well.
For the really close people in our lives like parents, godparents, and (bonus) daughter I am making some kind of useful item such as a collection of scarves or an afghan. Something tangible but most definitely usable. These will complement our "goodie bags" for these people.
Several years ago I began a tradition of writing a personal "gift" to each of my loved ones each year, expressing a special prayer for the coming year. Very often when I sit down with a collection of special cards to do this I am not at all sure what I will be saying. I put on some quiet Christmas music, light a candle, wrap a blanket over my legs and meditate on each person before I begin writing. Letting my love for this person flow onto the paper creates a gift that has become a cherished tradition for those I share it with, even the younger ones who I was afraid wouldn't care!
What do you do for your holiday giving?