Just because there’s a postconsumer in your life, it doesn’t mean that he or she wouldn’t like to get a little something as a token of appreciation during the holidays. Postconsumers, after all, doesn’t mean that people have disavowed everything and are living off of nature only in a tree house in the woods (though many days that sounds absolutely delightful). It just means that you’re making responsible decisions about “stuff” with an end goal of taking your power back from the consumer machine. But what do you get the person who doesn’t want “stuff?” Or how do you put a stocking together if you’re a dedicated postconsumer? Here are our picks for the stocking stuffers that postconsumers will love.
Handmade IOU Booklets
We’ve suggested this as an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day gift before as well, but they’re an equally good solution for stuffing the stocking of a postconsumer. What does your gift recipient really want? Is it for you to do the cleaning chores one day? Is it a lift to the grocery store when the weather is bad for driving? Is it a home-cooked meal? Is it something naughtier that isn’t fit to print in our G-rated blog? Make your list of gifts of service that you can give your recipient and then craft them into an IOU booklet. Your recipient can “claim” the IOU’s throughout the year. He or she will get help and perks that they really want and you’re not giving them the “stuff” that they don’t want. Plus the gift itself can be incredibly personal because you’ll have an inside line on the ways that you can volunteer your time to really make your recipient happy.
No matter whom your recipient is, everybody loves food. Of course, a small leaning towards eco-friendly and organic food is always nice, but it’s not required. Stuff the stocking with whatever delicious treats your loved postconsumer will enjoy, be it exotic fruits, fair trade chocolates or coffee or even delightful things that you’ve actually baked or preserved yourself. But it’s also okay to stuff your postconsumer’s stocking with more conventional holiday sweets. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a pack of Reese’s peanut butter cups for the holidays. It’s a time to indulge in deliciousness no matter what it is. Any postconsumer will adore food.
Used Books: Stuff a Stocking with Words
We have yet to meet a postconsumer who doesn’t love to read, and the used book industry could certainly use your love as the shift to digital begins to take hold more and more. Stuffing your favorite postconsumer’s stocking with used books is a win/win in our mind. Your gift recipient gets wonderful words to inspire him or her into the new year and transport them to magical places. You get a day to enjoy a nice cup of coffee while browsing the shelves at your local used book store and smell the fantastic odor of old books. No matter how many times people try to emulate that smell, there’s nothing like the original.
Your Own Writing: Even Better Words
Anything you create will make your postconsumer gift recipient happy (see our recommendation below), but your own words are almost always the most powerful gift that you can give. Take some time to write, yes, actually hand write, a missive to your recipient. It can be a poem, a letter, a haiku (still technically a poem, but different) or even a cartoon drawing. It may only be a piece of paper in the stocking, but it will likely be the thing that your recipient keeps near and dear to them for the longest time.
“Experience Gifts”: Stuff Them Using Gift Certificates or Tickets
Postconsumers in general are always fans of “experience gifts.” Things like going to a nice dinner, seeing a show or visiting the art museum. Fortunately, experience gifts also make great stocking stuffers because you can use the representation of the experience in the stocking. Taking your recipient to see a show or to a museum where admission is required? Get the tickets in advance and put them in the stocking. Want to take your recipient to a nice dinner? Get a gift certificate from the restaurant. Think likewise for spa treatments, classes or lessons or even adventure experiences. Our only word of caution is to be careful with the idea of purchasing gift cards – they come with their own marketing issues that you’ll want to be wary of.
Handmade Gifts Say You Took the Time
If you do want to put some “stuff” tokens of adoration into your recipient’s stocking, we recommend that you opt for handmade items or that you get crafty on your own. We actually have a list of our five favorite upcycled holiday gift items on the site, and we think that they could truly inspire you. If you’re not ready to craft yourself, hit your local farmer’s market or holiday stands for individually made items by local artisans who aren’t part of the mass consumer machine. “Stuff” has a scale of fun or appropriate, too.
Of course, there are probably dozens of ideas that we didn’t cover, but stockings can have such a wide range of contents that we couldn’t possibly include them all. That’s where your imagination and postconsumer creativity come into play. Did we miss an idea on a stocking stuffer for a postconsumer that you want to share with us? If so, just tell us about it on one of the social media channels below.
Photo Credit: rRradionica via Flickr