A few years ago, when my brother and I (ostensibly) became grown-ups, our family decided to change the way we’d give gifts during the holiday, just as a way to cut down on all the materialistic crap that we didn’t really need or even want. Instead, we agreed to give “experiential” gifts, like taking each other out to dinner or a show, or buying a service gift certificate, or taking a family vacation.
And it looks like I’m not alone.
So, if you want to give a gift that makes you and the receiver feel good AND avoid the holiday crush at the malls, here are a few gifts that make a positive impact in Boston:
For the Culture-freak – Tickets to Angels in America ($25), produced by Boston Theater Works. This Pulitzer Prize-winning play is an astounding story that weaves together discussions about religion, politics, AIDS and relationships.
For your Mom – Unique (or limited edition) works created by the students and faculty at MassArt, on sale Dec 3-8 at the Annual Holiday Sale. Somehow, it’s not as cute when a 28-year-old presents his mother with his own homemade jewelry box crafted from paperclips.
For the Runner – Donation toward their Santa Speedo Run ($250 registration). A fairly new but already much-cherished Boston tradition, this year’s run benefits the Women’s Lunch Place, a daytime home for homeless women and children. You know you love watching semi-nude bi-gendered Santas run. Imagine if one of those Santas was your loved one.
For the Foodie – A whole season of farm-fresh fruits and veggies, sourced locally by The Food Project ($100-450). Band together with your housemates and look forward to weekly house dinners.
For Everyone – Share goodwill in your community whenever you shop online through iBakeSale. This national organization has a list of branded online retailers who will donate 2-7% of profits from your purchase to a participating, local nonprofit of your choice.
Got any other ideas? Share them here--I'd love to see what's out there