EDITORIAL: Get creative, intentional with gifting during holiday season

Support small businesses and reach beyond the traditional gift


Kyla Pelham

During this holiday season, support local businesses and show your loved ones you really care by selecting personal and meaningful gifts.

During the holiday season, many people feel obligated to get their loved ones gifts, but is buying something just to check that person off your list really showing them your love and appreciation? Intentionally giving gifts can show people that you really care about them and have put thought into their likes and interests. 

Because of the hardships COVID-19 has put onto many small businesses, it is even more important to shop local this holiday season.  We all know it is convenient to stay in our pajamas and shop on Amazon from our couches, but this only continues to contribute to the failure of small and local businesses. Thinking about where your money is going while shopping is important. Just one purchase can mean a lot to small businesses and nothing to large brands.

Make your present so personal and specific that the person will want to keep it with them forever, and it wouldn’t make sense to give it to anyone else.

Small businesses also usually personalize their packaging and make their items more niche, so the gift you get will be more meaningful. A great sign of whether or not your gift is meaningful is if it can be re-gifted. Make your present so personal and specific that the person will want to keep it with them forever, and it wouldn’t make sense to give it to anyone else. Yes, many small businesses typically have higher prices than larger businesses, but you are paying them for higher quality items that they likely put a lot of time, effort and love into. 

Another way to show your appreciation is to hand-make your gift. What could show someone you really care about them more than making something yourself?  Putting the dedication into physically creating something for someone is a sign of sincerity, so tap into your childhood self, and try getting a little creative.

Beyond giving an item, rethinking what a traditional “gift” means is also important during the holidays. Oftentimes gifts are thought of to be tangible. However, material items are usually only temporarily meaningful, while memories last a lifetime. These gifts may be difficult during COVID-19, but under normal circumstances, they are great options. Maybe they’re a music lover, and you buy them tickets to their favorite artist’s concert. Maybe they’re a passionate sports fan, and you take them to one of their favorite team’s games. Or maybe they need to relax and would enjoy a gift card for a massage. Not only can these be more meaningful ways to show your love and appreciation for a person, but they are also better for the environment. Giving someone an experience can be a much better gift than a material item that will just take up space and end up in a landfill. 

Alternatively, if you can’t think of a thoughtful gift they’ll love, you could donate in their name to a charity that means a lot to them or get them a gift card to a business they truly love and will use.

Intentional gift-giving, or putting more thought and consideration into your gifts, this holiday season, has obvious benefits for the person on the receiving end, but it’s also beneficial for you. It can serve as a great break from school stresses or the monotony of quarantining, and it can also give you a much-needed serotonin boost. Seeing someone else happy can truly be good for your soul as well. There are so many thoughtful ways to give gifts to the people you love, so try to get creative this holiday season. 

This unsigned editorial reflects the views of the Harbinger Editorial Board.