Friday, November 4, 2011

#98... Give experiential or edible gifts

It was my wonderful husband's birthday this week, and it's hard to buy gifts for him. Asked what he wants for his birthday, he usually doesn't have much to say, because he's quite content with life. This year, though, I gave him a new pair of slippers because his old ones were getting pretty thin, and I made him a nice meal -- herbed breaded chicken, wild rice and steamed vegetables, and homemade, birthday apple pie, complete with candles. He was pleased.

We human beings have a natural compulsion to want to do special things for our loved ones to mark special occasions. Unfortunately, that compulsion has been corrupted by market forces that brainwash us to believe that we must buy special things... often things that our loved ones don't really need, and that perhaps our earth's limited resources can no longer afford. Most of us have too much "stuff" in our homes, too many clothes in our closets, too many books on our shelves, etc.

That's why tickets to a play or concert, or special food and drink are such excellent gift suggestions. We all love to eat certain things, and most of us enjoy live entertainment. Among our family's favourite gifts have been tickets to a local theatre that featured some former Cirque de Soleil stars, and a full day canoe trip down the North Saskatchewan River. In my books, fair trade chocolate is a great present for any occasion (it's usually grown by organic farmers, too, so it's not depleting the earth so much, and it's often tastier than non-fair trade).

I'd like to suggest that the best gifts are the ones that don't collect dust or break down with age, but delight our tastebuds, or live in our memories for a lifetime. If you have time to leave a note, I'd love to hear about your favourite experiential or edible gift...

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

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