It's that time of year again where we all spend the better part of December searching for the perfect gift for loved ones. We hit the stores, scour the Internet, and do a deep-dive on Pinterest to find the gift that will show our giftees just how much we love them. But what if that perfect gift isn't something we buy?
[Cue Grinch music.]
Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store? Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more?
We all know that if we asked anyone on our shopping list what they want most, the response would probably be something that involves our time. An evening out, help with a hard-to-manage chore, an afternoon movie-fest, or a weekend of babysitting. These are the kind of gifts that embrace the loving spirit of the holiday. And as an added bonus, they don't fill up our landfills with unwanted junk, nor do they wreak havoc on our wallets.
Elfless Acts is a new campaign from the U.K.-based nonprofit, Global Action Plan. The idea behind the campaign is to encourage present-givers to give truly special and unique gifts that don't create unnecessary pollution in their production or garbage to dispose of when they're no longer in use. According to the Elfless Acts website, only 1 percent of the materials used to produce consumer goods are still in use six months after they are bought. That means most of the materials used to make those coffee mugs and bath bombs and snarky T-shirts will make their way to the landfill even before the next holiday season rolls around.
Wouldn't it be nice to share a gift with a loved one that means something to both of you and doesn't destroy the planet in the process? That's the idea behind Elfless Acts. And they're making it cool to do just that.
Here are some Elfess Acts ideas you can use to take gift-less gift-giving to the next level:
- Long week? I'll make sure there's an emergency beer in the fridge for you. That Friday feeling just got better...
- Skip the boring meal deal; find your homemade lunch in the fridge for a week! Let me know what you like and I'll sort!
- This year my present to you is the promise to do your hair and make-up before a night out. Bring on the selfies!
- Animal lover that you are, I’m taking you to the zoo. I'll even hold a spider if you want me to. Let's pick a date!
- I promise you an afternoon of my time doing jobs around the house. You'll be in charge and I won't complain, honest!
And one of the best details is that you don't just have to tell your giftee; you can create a fun voucher that you print or email to the recipient.
Who wouldn't love a holiday gift that promises love and time rather than just stuff? (Photo: Global Action Plan)
Sure, these Elfless Acts may not work for every situation. Little kids like to see presents under the tree, not vouchers in their stocking. But for those on your gift list who might appreciate some help with a project or a day of hanging out instead of yet another throw pillow, an Elfless Act is a great way to spread some holiday love with your giftee (and the planet.)