- Giving the Gift of Hope thru World Vision. Personally I LOVE World Vision (or any non-profit that is similar) and their mission. When they were at the Puyallup Fair they had a huge booth set up that talked about children in Africa and you could see how they live, work and play. It was emotional and I cried. Yep, I cried at the Fair. I think people stared at me. Anyway, they have a very cool gift catalog with a lot of gifts under $50 and its not just sponsoring a child. Your own children might not understand getting a goat or a chicken for Christmas, but its a wonderful gift to someone in a deserving country.
- Netflix. Seriously I love this service and its a pretty green gift. You don't have to drive to get or return your videos, your movie comes via mail, not extra packaging and best of all--just a flat fee! No late fees. Sure you might not get that movie that comes out THE day is releases, but I have gotten movies the DAY they come out. It can happen. Besides a true green friend doesn't have cable and this is the alternative. You can buy a Netflix subscription for someone months at a time if you are a current member.
- How about Tickets to a concert? Or the an Art Gallery? Or maybe a membership to your family members local Zoo or Museum? Sometimes even being a tourist in your own town is fun.
- iTunes giftcards. Shameless plug--I LIVE for these to appear magically in my stocking! Santa if you are reading this.... But its no packaging that normally comes with a CD and they get to pick what they want.
- How about pictures? My parents are ALWAYS bugging me for pictures of us as a family. Maybe you can make a collage of some cute pictures of your kids or send them a CD with a BUNCH of pictures so they can add them to their computer and order what they want. Pictures really do say a thousand words and is priceless.
- Lets not forget giving those we love cloth bags. Maybe it should include a picture of your kid or something? (ok that might be a bit much) shockingly my mom already has some cloth bags!! GASP!
- I'm all for the handmade gifts, but I SUCK at making handmade gifts. etsy.com is a good place for handmade stuff. I like to get handmade stuff--especially quilts. I love me some handmade blankets.
- Along the same lines as Netflix is Gamefly. Basically its Netflix, but instead of movies you can rent video games. I'm planning on this for Noah this year. Sure I don't want him playing games until his brain melts, but its an alternative to allowing him to buy games he doesn't like, are too hard or he just gets tired of. Its a little more expensive then I'd like to spend--its a thought.
Those are my gift ideas. Please share yours too! I'm new at this green stuff too and I would love to hear any ideas you all may have. Enjoy your shopping! OH and the best way to be green and shop is by NOT going shopping at all. Stay home and shop online if you must shop. Going out shopping will only encourage you to spend more on silly gifts you don't really need. Staying at home with your family is better any day.