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    Feel-Good Gift Guide

    A Pair of Pears‘ guide to DIY gift wrapping.

    Whether you’ve been too busy, broke, or lazy to finish (or start)
    your holiday shopping, it’s not too late to find or make thoughtful gifts. And
    with an emphasis on local, DIY, and green gifting, you can avoid the mall
    entirely.

    Go local.

    Between
    the internet, your telephone, and a credit card, you can help support your loved
    ones’ favorite local spots. Chip in for a visit to that zero-waste locavore
    restaurant your sister loves. Treat your mom to an hour with her local
    masseuse. Get your stepdad a round of golf (not the greenest, maybe, but better
    than another tie). Asking yourself what your loved ones like to do is usually
    easier than trying to figure out what they want. Alternatively, consider
    sharing some favorite local finds from your area. Whether you choose practical
    items (honey, soap) or extravagances (chocolate, wine), you’ll be sharing a
    piece of your everyday life.

    Get creative.
    Everyone
    has a creative streak. Whether your strengths are in the kitchen, the garden,
    or the art studio, there’s a gift waiting for you to make it. Here are a few
    ideas for getting started. Food
    Republic
    has slightly-sinful holiday treats, from vanilla bourbon to spicy
    candied bacon fudge (yes, you read that right). Odessa
    May Society
    ‘s DIY tulip-and-daffodil-bulb gift basket will bring the
    reassurance of spring to friends who get the winter blues. For music and poetry
    lovers, ABeautiful Mess shows how to make wall art out of verse. And if you have
    paint chip samples secreted away somewhere, How About Orange reveals how to
    turn them into magnets
    and geometric
    patterned wall art
    . Love drawing or graphic design? Handmade soaps,
    lotions, teas, salves,
    and herbal
    perfumes and colognes
    offer a blank slate for designing labels and packaging
    that shows off your style.

    Subscribe.
    Supply
    a hungry mind with a year’s worth of food-for-thought and support the independent press. Here are some of our favorite
    indie rags.
    For the environmentalist: Orion
    The informed optimist: Yes!

    The
    friend who hates consumer culture: Adbusters
    The new parents: Brain,
    Child

    The intellectual cyclist: Boneshaker: A
    Bicycling Almanac

    The practical cyclist: Bicycle Times
    The farmer (or wanna-be): Small Farmer’s Journal
    The hardcore sustainable do-it-yourselfer: Mother Earth News
    The
    left-leaning news junkie: The NationThe open-minded
    conservative: American ConservativeThe
    feminist: BitchThe empowered girl: New Moon(Or
    share Utne
    Reader
    with a friend!)

    Donate.
    It might
    seem strange to donate instead of giving a gift, but if you’re buying for the
    family activist this will likely supply the desired warm, fuzzy feeling. Talk
    to them beforehand about causes they support.

    Wrap It Right
    Your efforts
    to buy and use less this holiday don’t have to stop at the gift. In case you
    thought newspaper and brown paper shopping bags couldn’t look classy, check out
    Make‘s
    guide to upcycled gift wrapping. A
    Pair of Pears
    and Redesign
    Revolution
    offer more ideas for making DIY and reusable wrapping look
    festive.

    Still freaking out?
    For practical advice on paring down and handling holiday stress, see the Mayo
    Clinic’s tips for
    coping
    with the holidays.

    Images: A Pair of Pears‘ guide to DIY gift wrapping; Sweet & spicy nuts via SassyRadish, licensed under Creative Commons; Gift for the Gardener by Odessa May Society; November/December 2012 cover of Orion; Cloth gift wrap from The Merriment Blog (via Redesign Revolution).

    Published on Dec 5, 2012

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