The holiday season is upon us! And after rethinking how we do almost everything this past year, many of us now find ourselves rethinking how to do the holidays. Whether you are staying at home for the first time ever and wondering how to celebrate without gathering, or whether your values no longer align with the traditional consumption and spending-centric holiday model- the ReStore has a few re-thought ideas on how to do the holidays this year… maybe with a little more reuse and home time, and a little less spending and gathering.
1. Support worthwhile causes with your purchases.
There are many community organizations that greatly need your support, especially this year. Lots of local non-profits operate thrift stores (like the ReStores!) to ensure a recurring source of revenue. A ReStore gift card is a great gift for those in your life who love treasure hunts, vintage finds, and supporting important causes, such as affordable housing. Include a cute note about how and why you’re” shopping for good” this holiday season.
2. Give practical gifts.
If you want to buy something, don’t discount the value of a really practical gift! Let’s be real, by the time Christmas rolls around, don’t we all need a new pair of socks? Well, perhaps not all of us, but the trick is to find out what the recipient really needs and buy in accordance with their taste so they receive a practical gift that is both useful and desirable. For those of us staying at home, maybe for the first time ever, consider a fun gift that everyone can enjoy together over the holiday weekend, such as a puzzle or board game.
3. Make a DIY gift.
Whether you’re crafty or not, there are lots of fun ideas for DIY gifts that can involve just you or your whole family. If you have kiddos to include, making an annual tradition out of creating a piece of holiday art can really build your loved ones’ collection of meaningful holiday décor. For many years, my son and I have created a piece of Christmas tree art to give as gifts to family members, and this year we received several pictures of how their collections are brightening their spaces. Your creations can be as simple as handmade holiday cards or as extravagant as your homemade chocolate truffles. In a culture inundated with mass produced items, one-of-a-kind DIY gifts are refreshing and meaningful.
4. Give experiences.
Especially here in the mountains, we have a variety of ways to still give experiences that are pandemic-friendly. (What a weird word combination.) Tickets to a local ski mountain for your friends or family, or “coupons” for fully-planned hiking days or camping trips complete with picnics and snacks offer exciting outings to look forward to- something we all need right now. Also, most people could use relaxation and self-care more than anything right now, so offering close friends and family a meal service, child care for a date night, or even an in- home massage would surely be well-received.
5. Check out the Asheville ReStore Pinterest page for great repurposed and DIY holiday ideas.
The Asheville ReStore has been “pinning” all things DIY, reused, and repurposed for YEARS! There are so many ideas for holiday centered DIY and and reuse ideas on our Pinterest page at:
6. Start a re-gifting box — and think ahead.
When you do receive those inevitable gifts that just aren’t “you”, label them with who gave them to you, then keep them on hand to give to someone they are more suited for.
Getting sucked into last minute, needless purchases is frustrating. Next year, whatever the month, when you come across funky, unique items at the ReStore that are perfect for your aunts, uncles, or friends, buy them (even if it’s March!) and keep them in the “re-gifting” box also so you’re ready when the holiday season rolls around.
As we rethink this holiday season, the best thing we can do is have open conversations and set clear expectations with those with whom we’ll be sharing the holiday. Find out what’s really important to you and your loved ones as we close out this year, and enjoy the freedom of rethinking what the holidays will look like to you.
Leyla Acaroglu of Disruptive Design reminds us that “sustainability is all about making sure that the decisions we make today — no matter how insignificant they seem now — don’t negatively impact the ability for future generations to live prosperously. It’s all about making new normals, changing the rituals, and finding uniquely-you ways of sharing love and friendship this holiday season.” This holiday season, as we all rethink our “holiday normal”, may this opportunity to redesign your holiday traditions bring about in you and yours even more of what the holiday, and sustainability too, is all about- hope.
Happy Holidays to you and yours from all of us at the Habitat ReStore!
And if you come up with something that’s really outside of the box, let us know! We’d love to hear how you and your loved ones are spending this unique holiday time. Send your out-of-the-box holiday plans to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share your ideas! Thanks!