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Gift giving outside of the holiday box

By Lisa Nicklanovich

Like everything this year, gift giving might look different this holiday season.

At the heart of it, giving a gift is a way to reconnect with the people we care about. This year has presented many challenges in connecting with our loved ones, so thoughtful gifts will be especially appreciated. Some ideas to consider:

An experience. A resident bought a gift card to for her family to go on a scavenger hunt tour adventure or a roam from home hunt. Another resident used to score a deal on a snowshoe and fondue experience. Visit to collectively solve challenging puzzles with an escape room experience.

A gift certificate to a restaurant or small business in the recipient’s town. Your gift recipient can choose to use the gift in-person or pickup their meal or gift to go.

A homemade meal or treat. A homemade pie, cheesecake or that sourdough bread you’ve perfected would made a special gift to someone who has expressed enjoying your creation before.

Set up a grocery delivery service or a meal kit service to make someone’s life easier.

Give a gift of service such as dog walking or dog sitting, yard work, errand running, or finishing a project. Do they wish they had help organizing or putting all their photos in an album? Do they dream of help from a professional that you could hire for them?

Gift subscriptions are very popular now and most subscription boxes allow you to purchase the first box only and the recipient can decide if they want to continue receiving it. Craft projects, science kits, books, plants, meals, flowers, coffee, tea and wine; there is a subscription box for everyone.

A subscription to an app, on-demand exercise program or streaming video or music service. A friend gifted her mom a subscription to an app to help her sleep that was a hit. I appreciated receiving a Spotify playlist from someone who has an eclectic taste in music.

A charitable gift: Resident Lea Palmer said, “The special gifts we are shopping for this year are to fill Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Child gift boxes. Boxes are filled with gender and age specific gifts of both necessities and treats. They are distributed around the world to children who may never have known anyone cared about them.”

A mysterious kindness: Resident Priscilla Rosenlund shared, “When my son was in hospice, a group of people left us a gift on our porch every evening for the 12 days up until Christmas. They would run off before we could figure out who was leaving us these cheerful surprises. It was really thoughtful during a difficult time.”

Let’s put a big bow on 2020 and finish the year in a way that truly helps one another. Please consider local merchants first in gift purchases, and support the advertisers in The Connection, as many offer terrific gifting options, and they need your support.

Maybe asking “how can I help?” is the best gift of all.



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