It’s all over the news: Shortages are threatening the holidays. Get your orders in early, or you’ll miss out! Maybe this year, more than any other year, we need something else.
Shop local. Every year, my family shops in one of our beautiful Rivertowns. We divide our list, and get the shopping done in a couple of hours. Then, we reconvene for a winter treat at a local restaurant. We love our towns in their holiday finest, we catch up with local shop owners, and we always get to meet some cute dogs or friendly neighbors along the way. Instead of hunting for a specific gift, and stressing about where to find it, we buy whatever the shops have in stock, and we always find something special.
Share an experience. This year, instead of getting more stuff, we’re doing something fun as a family. We’ve really missed the joy of doing things out in the world together. Now seems like a great time to splurge a little. This could be small or large, but the shared experience is what matters.
Share an interest. Buy tickets to local shows or attractions. Sample classes together or buy workout packages to share. Put together a starter kit to teach your favorite hobby.
Give yourself. The best gift is a homemade gift, in my opinion. Not all of us are crafty, but we all have some talent we can share. And the best way is to share your time as well. How about planning a garden that you’ll help plant come spring? Or sharing your favorite recipe, and making it together? Make a certificate (or garden map or recipe) and wrap it in a box, so they have a beautiful gift to open as well.
Make a difference. If you’re fortunate enough to have a little extra this year, why not share that with those in need? Give a gift in someone’s name or donate and share the thank-you gift branded with your (or their) favorite charity. Shop at the charity’s online store and offer a little extra support. Or combine approaches and share a day volunteering together, coupled with a meal at a local restaurant.
With a little thought and planning, you can avoid all the shopping mishaps and disappointment, stop worrying about who’s got what in stock (and whether it will arrive in time), and give a gift that really matters.
Renée Kashuba is a private chef, baker, and writer in Tarrytown. Find her online at www.foodmadebyrk.com, Instagram/foodmadebyrk, Facebook/MadeByRK, and Twitter/MadeByRK.