Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! Late last year, Jeremy and I had a pretty serious conversation about gift giving. We’re the kind of people that show our love and appreciation to others through presenting gifts – which we’re always sure to put a lot of thought and care into. Seeing people light up and truly appreciate the little trinkets and treasures tucked away in ribbon-clad gift boxes brings us great joy.
However, we’ll also be the first to admit that this habit causes us to overthink, overbuy, and overspend holiday after holiday, especially on each other. And while each of us always appreciates what the other has to present, we undeniably go through a lot of stress, and regularly break the budgets we have set, in trying to find the perfect item, or in simply attempting to keep up with each other.
While we think this is totally acceptable in some cases, we really want to crack down on our spending and the stress of gift buying this year. And more importantly, we want whatever it is we do decide to purchase to be meaningful and, when possible, to give back in some way (I shared some thoughts on this over the holidays here.)
Through this discussion, we’ve decided to gift more experiences – like concert tickets, museum passes, dinner reservations, and so on, give gifts that support causes we believe in, or forfeit gifts altogether and donate the dollars we would have spent on shopping to a charity we believe in.
This month, for example, we’ve decided to skip trading gifts on Valentine’s Day, and instead each make a monetary donation to a local non-profit that we want to thrive. And I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that our dollars are going toward something bigger than a few gifts that we feel obligated to buy for each other, allowing our love to spread beyond ourselves and the four walls of our home.
Spreading more love is something we think everyone can feel good about and benefit from, especially in these recent weeks and months, and we encourage you to consider swapping – or supplementing – your gift giving with purchases or donations (in time or in money) that help to support causes you believe in.
Need a few ideas to get you started? Here are some resources we love.
Charities + Non-Profits
Brands + Gifts That Give Back
Shopping for a Cause: 5 Tips for Buying Gifts That Give Back
16 Incredible Gifts That Give Back
13 Awesome Gifts to Give on Valentine’s Day Instead of Flowers
20 Places to Shop for Gifts That Give Back
Oprah’s List of Gifts That Give Back
27 Online Stores That Benefit Non-Profits
Gifts That Give Back to Women
Gifts That Give to Charity
Witty Tees for Important Causes
9 Purchases That Support Your Rights
18 Stores That Donate Profits to Animals
These are just a small, small sampling of the many options out there! Chances are, some of your favorite shops, artists, and brands offer products or run occasional sales that help to benefit non-profits and good causes. Do your research and you may be surprised!
We hope you and yours are feeling the love, friends. We’re sending you all of ours, today and always!