What a year! 2020 is soon coming to an end, and many of us will be glad to see the back of it. It was the strangest year most of us have lived through. Tragically, some of our loved ones are no longer with us as COVID-19 swept across the globe, destroying the lives of many who crossed its path. If you weren’t impacted by the Coronavirus health-wise, then you were likely affected economically.
With several holidays fast approaching, we are reminded of the traditions and customs that we celebrate together with our loved ones. This holiday season may not be quite like those of our past, with many of us facing major changes. This is an incredibly difficult time of year during the best of circumstances. Adding the stress of facing the first holiday without a loved one, social distancing during a time when our homes are usually filled with friends and family, or dealing with trying to figure out how to pay for gifts due to COVID-related financial cuts is bound to make this holiday more difficult than previous years.
So how are you supposed to deal with holiday gift-giving this year? Below are some suggestions.
Buy Local this Christmas
Local businesses were hit especially hard due to the COVID crisis, and the ones that made it through are still feeling the heavy effects today. No doubt you know someone who had to close up shop because they couldn’t afford the bills. Buying local not only helps support the businesses in your community, but they often hold some absolute gems that mainstream stores lack. Invest in your local community this holiday season and help those close to you come out of this crisis thriving.
Buy from Small Businesses
If you’re unable to buy from local mom-and-pop shops due to quarantine, you can support small businesses in other ways while social distancing. Thankfully most of us have access to the internet and can shop online. One of our favorite online stores is Etsy, which is a great place to find all kinds of handmade or personalized gifts from across the world by people running their own small businesses. Did you know Amazon also allows small business owners to sell handmade goods through their Amazon Storefronts section? You can even sort by small businesses that are minority-owned, family-owned, and even military family-owned!
Give Your Time
If you can’t afford gifts this year, then don’t despair. Sometimes gift-giving can feel like keeping up with the Joneses. The Holiday season is a time for appreciating what you have, and 2020, more than any other year, has driven that point home. Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of money to splash on a fancy gift. You can give your time instead. Offer friends and family a ‘Gift Certificate,’ which promises to fulfill a good deed. You can even find free templates you can print out at home by searching “Free Gift Certificate Printables” on Pinterest.
You could offer to watch over your sister’s children so she can enjoy a welcome day off (she’s probably still exhausted after quarantine with them!), or maybe you can volunteer to do the grocery shopping, so your partner doesn’t have to. It really could be anything, so have a good think about what your loved ones would appreciate the most. Just be careful not to offer something you’ll regret later. There’s only so much cleaning a person can do!
Donate to a Good Cause
There isn’t much that tops the feel-good factor more than donating, so rather than exchanging gifts this year on Christmas, why not all agree to donate your budget to a charity? Whether your family was hit by COVID-19 personally or not, there are some fantastic charities you can help support.
If you are concerned about what charity to donate to, there are several websites that assess how each organization uses their donations. Check out Charity Navigator and Charity Watch for more information.
If you are worried about your budget, you could even dedicate your time to volunteering for a charity. You could help out at your local dog shelter or lend a hand at the nearest food bank. Whatever you decide, volunteering is a great experience for all of your family as you bond together while giving back.
Embrace the Situation
It’s here. It happened. While COVID was (and is) a very serious event, and many people are still suffering, it’s human nature to use humor to make it through. A COVID-related gift might bring some laughter to a serious situation. Put a roll of wrapped toilet paper with a red bow on top in every member of your family’s stocking to commemorate “The Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020” as a joke. Buy everyone a face mask that suits their personality – you can find thousands of options or even customize your own here. Check out some of our other COVID-related gift ideas on our blog post 9 Useful (and funny) COVID Related Gifts.
Make your Gifts
Trying not to break the bank? Why not attempt handcrafting your own gifts? We guarantee that these presents will mean so much more to your friends and family simply because of the love and attention that went into making them. Maybe while stuck in lockdown you learned a new skill and can put it to good use this festive season. Did you learn to knit? Make everyone funky scarves. Did you learn to bake? Create delicious holiday treats. Did you begin crafting? Handmake unique gifts for everyone. You’re only limited by your imagination. Take your time and create a truly personalized gift. It doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be from you.
We hope you found our list of ideas useful, and we encourage you to try something new to wrap up this year. Just remember that despite the circumstances, Christmas and the holiday season can still be a memorable and magical time, whatever the size of your budget.
Make sure to stay tuned for more helpful gift guides and ideas on our blog.
Until then, Happy Gifting!