by guest blogger Maya Rodale, author of smart and sassy romance novels
When I was a kid, Santa would not come unless I cleaned out my room first. We hauled out bags of trash and donated toys to make room for new stuff. And then, as I got older, I stopped wanting new stuff but still really wanted to clean out my apartment. I love the cleanliness and the lightness that comes from clearing away the clutter. But the holidays…the rooms are an explosion of stuff and clutter.
Don’t throw a clutter bomb at someone! Here are some alternative gift ideas that are awesome but won’t get someone kicked out of the cult of less:
• Monthly flower delivery. Fresh flowers are one of my favorite indulgences. The air in the house smells prettier (without toxic chemicals), and a good bouquet just lights up a room. Spare someone the agonies of trying to justify the cost or occasion and just send a fresh bouquet once a month. Check out Organic Bouquet for options.
• E-Z Pass. This is the very definition of the gift that keeps on giving. My dad got it for me one year, and I think happy thoughts of him every time I get to a tollbooth and zoom past all the suckers still paying in cash.
• Car cleaning. This can be as simple as taking the car down to the local place and vacuuming it yourself (saving someone time and the discovery of gross stuff), or you can splurge on a professional cleaning. Either way, it’s like having a brand-new car for a fraction of the cost.
• Gift cards and experiences. These get a bad rap for being unimaginative, but I heartily disagree. You’re not just giving cash, which would probably be spent toward paying bills (though that may be a great gift), but when you give people gift cards, you give them permission to treat themselves. Don’t want to encourage their acquiring more stuff? Give a restaurant gift card, a voucher for yoga classes, or movie/theater tickets.
• Magazine subscriptions. Especially to titles like Men’s Health, Women’s Health, and the like…. Just kidding! Not really. But seriously, magazines are wonderful little distractions each week or month. It’s the gift of knowledge, a chance to daydream, or even just a half hour spent sitting quietly on the couch. Ahhh….
What are some of the best gifts you’ve ever gotten?
Maya Rodale is the author of multiple historical romance novels, as well as the nonfiction book Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained. She has a master’s degree from New York University and lives in Manhattan with her darling dog and a rogue of her own. Her latest book is Seducing Mr. Knightly. Learn more at mayarodale.com