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deliberateLIFE engages today's globally-conscious citizen in building a better tomorrow. We believe choices matter – so we vet ideas, products and organizations to make it easier for today's busy professionals to live well and do good.







Filtering by Tag: alternative gifting

No-Waste Gift Ideas: Give a Hobby

Seth Strickland


by Seth Strickland

This Holiday season, as always, there's a lot of pressure to give gifts, and if you have a lot of friends, it can be difficult to make the cut - who gets gifts? Who doesn't? Instead of buying all your buddies an ESPN key fob this year, introduce them to your favorite hobby. 

One of my friends, Alex, has just started brewing beer. This is a great dude hobby to pursue for reasons I won't enumerate here, but Alex suggested that we make beer sometime and that if I helped him, I'd get to take some home. This great gift idea has both the benefit of time spent together and a frills-free gift for your friends. The cost-per-beer is very low, especially if you already have the brewing equipment, which means that it's a good economic choice. There's no wasted wrapping paper but also no tactless unwrapped present. A simple but good-looking invite card can serve as the physical object which you hand out at the office Christmas party or the weekly squash match. Some Saturday, brew for a few hours, and four weeks later, get together again to bottle it. 

It doesn't have to be beer. Any skill you have or hobby you pursue which your friends or brothers or sons or nephews lack is an opportunity to teach, to share, to spend some time this holiday season. The gift of amateurism (the pursuit of something for love, rather than gain) is priceless, often costs little, and strengthens the beneficial bonds of friendship.

Leave comments below for other great hobby gifts & how to start them.

No-Waste Gift Ideas: Classes

Fay Johnson

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This year, instead of buying the little ones toys that will fill the house, start them on a new hobby. Leah, one of our readers, gives a great example of what this could look like:

“With two growing daughters who are 4 and 6 years old, the list of items they actually need seems to get a bit smaller as they get older. Sure there are plenty of items they want and their list of interests seem to expand daily. Their actual needs are very basic; they have food and roof over their head, clothes for growing bodies, friends, physical activity, creative outlets and lots of learning opportunities. Truly, that’s all they need and there are simple ways to meet those needs.”


As a mother and reader of deliberateLIFE, Leah knows that there is a better option than buying more gifts and recognizes the struggle that parents have to balance the needs and wants of her children. “For every new movie or attraction, there’s an entire line of merchandise. I desperately wanted to get back to the simpler days of pulling out a few puzzles, reading and doing ABCs. I had to think of a way to decrease the stuff that entered our home on Christmas and birthdays, then our youngest became old enough to take the same classes as her sister. Suddenly, our monthly budget for their weekly activities like swimming, gymnastics, soccer and dance, was almost the cost of our food budget; so I asked their grandparents to give a series of classes as a Christmas or birthday gift. The joy my girls experience and the confidence and skills that are built over time are far greater than any enjoyment they will receive from the toys and games received. Plus we get some great pictures to send home to the grandparents. Thanks grandma and grandpa!”

Give new experiences to your little loved ones this year and watch them blossom. Your investment in classes also supports the local economy and encourages connection between you and your neighbors – win, win, win.