A Consumption-Free Holiday May Be the Greatest Gift November 14, 2021 Email Holidays are often associated with consumption – of food, drinks, and retail. And when December rolls around, we are often expected to give gifts to those we love and appreciate. But, instead of the usual holiday mall or online shopping, what if we could give more meaningful gifts, reduce our environmental impact, and as a positive side effect, receive mental health benefits as well? The Benefits of DIY Gifts It feels special to receive a homemade gift, but did you know that there are also many benefits to making gifts? Instead of engaging in stressful holiday shopping, enjoy a calming experience by crafting and making your own gifts. Studies have shown that crafting and creative activities can decrease stress, anxiety, mental distress, and even improve well-being and quality of life. It can be a meditative activity that provides a chance to slow down and get back to the non-material, heartwarming side of the holidays. With a DIY gift, you are able to better personalize it to the other person and their interests, or tailor it to your own skills and strengths, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can gift a homemade treat, candle, or many more ideas here. It can even be as simple as a thoughtful, handwritten letter letting a friend know what you appreciate about them or thanking them for their presence in your life. DIY gifts offer a personal touch. It may take a bit of time and effort, but what better way to show somebody you care than making something with your very own hands? And even if you’re not able to make a gift this year, instead of going out to buy one, how about planning an experience instead? While experiences may involve spending some money (such as concert tickets, spa day passes, or national park entry passes) it’s more of the thought, planning, and time set aside that counts — especially if it’s an experience you can do together. Even a low-cost picnic in the park or a food/drink tour of their favorite treats will be appreciated and provide a memory that can be cherished for years to come. In addition to reducing our consumption, we can find ways to truly enjoy the holidays and spread good cheer!