Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The Treehouse Gift Giving Guide, 2018

All my favourite bloggers and websites seem to be doing gift guides right now, so I thought I'd share some blog love and also post my own ideas.

What sorts of things do your people want and need? If you're trying to be practical, think about measuring tools, living-with-snow tools (especially if they have houses or vehicles), or tools that help you reach things up or down (like stepladders and long pincher-things). Think about home things that get worn out, like towels and sheets and scissors. Think about dark places that need more light, or messy places that need hooks, or faded places that need paint. Think about pets that need vacation-sitting or supplies (a gift card?), or closets that need organizing. (Only if they really want you to!)

The Zero Waste Bulk store is one Canadian source of alternative sustainable items, like bamboo toothbrushes, which could make good stocking stuffers. They include an interesting article on their site about frugal handmade alternatives to the alternatives.  (There used to be a Canadian baby-gear vendor that generously included readers' tips for ways to not need their products.) Putting a sock over a Mason jar as a substitute travel mug might not be something you would give as a gift, but it is a good reminder that even a sustainably-made new thing is still a new thing, and maybe you could find an already-existing thing that works just as well.

Handmade Holidays is back this year on Sew Mama Sew! I like the link they included to a no-sew plaid blanket scarf, on their post Gifts for Girlfriends. More details on the Alice and Lois website.

How about giving someone a Pursuit of Ideas poster from Circe Institute? [Oh no--they're out of stock--sorry. Maybe a subscription to their journal Forma instead?] Or paying for them to take an online course, or to register for a virtual educational event (or a real one)?

The Vivienne Files posted an accessories gift guide with a reminder that you can often find unique jewelry (and other gift items) at museum and gallery gift shops. Plus you are supporting those places and/or the artists who create the gifts. That's a win. (Where else are you going to find Lawren Harris coffee mugs?)

The 2018 Green Gift Guide at My Green Closet includes a variety of things, including (like The Vivienne Files) gifts from The Met Store, and one item from Ten Thousand Villages (Canadian site, American site). If you're browsing TTV, look especially at products made by Noah's Ark in India. One of the Noah's Ark specialties is recycled metal, and we have several pieces from them ourselves including a table, a recycled-iron owl (no longer available), and a nativity silhouette. Canadian Ten Thousand Village stores also sell tiny fair-trade chocolate bars from Divine Chocolate. (Treehouse-tested and approved.)

Canadian songwriter Steve Bell has a new set of devotional books, The Pilgrim Year, based on the seasons of the church year. You can also buy them individually, and there's an accompanying CD with music selected from previous albums. Minimalist blogger Joshua Becker has a new book coming out in December. Jan Karon has a brand new book too, and it's also available as an audiobook. Or maybe your giftee would like Karen Swallow Prior's On Reading Well, which is getting positive reviews all over the place.
(Where do you buy your books these days? I used to post links to deals from Hampstead House Books, but they have closed shop after forty years in business. If you have a local indie store, consider supporting them. And don't forget to thrift.)
If your friend or loved one prefers e-books or listening-with-earbuds books, there are all kinds of choices. Here's one that you can currently only get for Kindle: Hallelujah, an Advent devotional by Cindy Rollins and friends. CM educators, have you heard about the Common Place Quarterly? Or how about giving a subscription to one of the two e-zines published by Becoming MinimalistSimplify Magazine and Simple Money?

And for the person who has everything...here's a variation on buying in-your-name farm or rescue animals or just making a donation to a local charity. How about a promise to log some extra volunteer hours at an organization you both support, as your gift to them?

Happy holiday planning!

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