This holiday season has the potential to be less than merry for many people. Social distancing is curtailing family gatherings and festivities, plus the recession has cut into budgets. So let me suggest a way we can brighten the season without spending anything.
This is a perfect time to offer up our unused treasures to strangers for holiday gift-giving. What a lift to the spirits!
Use your Buy Nothing Group
One easy way to give gifts to strangers is through a group like the Buy Nothing Project on Facebook. This gifting economy is hyper-local. I think these groups are the perfect blend of anonymous and yet very personal.
You simply describe your item, snap a photo of it, and let people comment about their interest. If you like, you can stipulate your intentions for the item, for instance that it go to someone as a gift, or not be resold. If your item generates lots of interest, you can choose the recipient or simply select someone randomly. People use the message function for details such as the address where the item can be picked up.
I discovered the Buy Nothing group when I cleaned out my pie safe. Since then, my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve become involved with a few households I would not otherwise have met. I’ve been given the gift of bringing food to households where there is actual need.
Buy Nothing is an incredibly pragmatic community. How else could you pass along a product you opened, but did not use? My trove of “curly girl” hair products have found their way to other curly heads, which makes me very happy. As does the neighbor who made art using the glass globes from our old ceiling fans, or the new kitten who is lapping water from a cute ceramic dish.
A Few Starter Ideas
As we thought specifically about Christmas gifts last weekend, my household unearthed a few simple items:
~ my husband had a Rubiks Cube new in the package — gone to a mom with a 7-year old son
~ I had a tassel necklace, and a nice box to present it in — which I have yet to list
~ our daughter turned up a Dave and Buster’s card good for quite a few games — gone to an aunt for an outing with her nephews
What Could You Pass Along?
What could you pass along to a neighbor during this Covid Christmas season?
~ a purse or handbag you rarely use?
~ a kitchen appliance or serving dish surplus to requirements?
~ a like-new book or boxed set?
~ a game or puzzle or doll that you’ve been saving for grandkids who, let’s face it, have plenty?
~ a FitBit or iPad or monitor that you replaced, but has lots of life?
~ a sweater or pair of pajamas — tags still on?
The list could be infinitely long because our homes are full of unused items! Use the comments to tell me what you discover.