Do adults really have to give each other gifts for the holidays? Well, no, they don’t. Being a grown-up means not HAVING to do anything you don’t want to do, right? And feeling an obligation to give a gift kind of takes the Giftiness out of it, doesn’t it? (Yes, it’s a word. Now.) But let’s face it, sometimes the opportunity arises to make someone’s holiday season a little brighter with a token of admiration and friendship.
If I were talented in the kitchen or the craft room, I’d bake or create something amazing. But I’m not, so for that you should check out Take Back the Kitchen or this cute list of last minute homemade gifts on Tip Junkie.
At the very least, let’s stick to consumables or culture, shall we? I’ve long felt that not adding to the STUFF we have is the best way to show you love someone. Away we go!
Alcohol. Always a popular item, and luckily wine stores are happy to oblige. When giving wine as a gift, the decision is all about quantity versus quality. My argument comes from my desire to REDUCE, so it’s quality. Choose a bottle of wine double the price you would normally buy. So in Trader Joe’s, get the $4 bottle instead of the Two-Buck Chuck. In Magnolia or Amanti Vino or Bottle King, pick up champagne instead of prosecco (although I’m partial to prosecco), and if you’re buying something harder, get the next color up. What would that be? Johnny Walker Blue versus Red? I don’t know. Ask the person behind the counter.
The same goes with Food. What is a special treat that someone may shy away from purchasing for themselves due to price? I have two that immediately spring to mind: REAL Stollen and REAL Pignoli Cookies. Montclair Bread Company has small loaves of stollen (and I just sampled some yesterday) selling for $15. Perfect for breakfast or for a treat. And Cucina 98, also on Walnut, has the most amazing Pignoli Cookies you’ve ever had. I’m serious. No, really, I’m serious. And I know my Pignoli Cookies. They sell for $18 for a box of 12. And don’t get me started about the other treats our area offers: Pies, special cookies, even personalized catering from one of our local at-home chefs would make a great gift.
There are more local ideas over at Baristanet. Some of my favorites: a donation in someone’s name to the Human Needs Food Pantry (or any food pantry) or your local library. Perhaps a membership to the Montclair Art Museum, Turtle Back Zoo, or the Liberty Science Center is a good fit for someone on your list. Or how about giving a membership to the Montclair Film Festival?
If you want to act globally while you live locally, check out the International Rescue Committee gift ideas. Or Mercy Corps has targeted giving ideas as well. Want to help make sure clean water is available? Try charity: water. There is also a lovely group called A Glimmer of Hope. Donate with this link so you can see what some people pledge to do to raise money for the cause.
Explore our area for creative gift-giving ideas while helping to keep our towns vibrant!