Halloween is in the rearview mirror.
Every publication I pick up has a pumpkin-something recipe for Thanksgiving.
The local stores have displayed Christmas decorations since before Halloween, and at least one radio station is playing exclusively Christmas music 24-hours a day.
Holiday season is here, along with all the accompanying stresses and joys.
As a Certified Professional Organizer, I often see my clients struggle with holiday gifts – not only what they should give their loved ones, but also what to do with the clueless, unwanted gifts they receive but feel too guilty about to donate or toss.
I am a big proponent of giving experiential or charitable gifts that provide memories but don’t add to the clutter. Gifts that provide experiences, support meaningful causes, or are consumable, are great options that can often be geared to the recipients’ interests or beliefs.
Your favorite thespian can receive a subscription to a local community theatre or tickets to a Broadway show. You can make a donation to the Wildlife Conservation Society in honor of the animal lover on your list. Consider purchasing a pair of tickets to take your baseball fan to a game next Spring; for that really special person, a week at Spring Training is a once-in-a-lifetime event!
Plan a weekend to Canada/Vegas/Nashville with your BFF who has wanderlust. Hire a car service such as Royal Coachman or Minute Man Limo to pick up your elderly relative and drive her to meet you for a special dinner in the City, and then drive her home.
A donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center in honor of your friend who is a human rights/social justice advocate can be a great option. A donation to a local food pantry in honor of a friend is another nice idea.
An annual membership to a local museum for the art lover in your life or movie tickets and popcorn for the cinephile make great gifts.
Another option is to consider giving a helping-vacation experience such as caring for elephants, monkeys, or bears in locations such as Africa, India, Cambodia, or Belize (http://enkosini.org/ or https://www.podvolunteer.org/) to the animal lover or conservationist in your life. Closer to home, arrange a volunteer day with Habitat for Humanity
Consumable gifts that get used up quickly and don’t add to the clutter are often a great option. In Order, Inc has teamed up with two local Edible Arrangements locations to offer my readers a substantial discount. Fruit bouquets make a great hostess gift as well as a memorable gift for a health-conscious friend. To receive a 25% discount on your edible fruit arrangement, click here to place your order. Enter the discount code INOR2017 anytime through 1/30/2018. If you prefer, call 973-652-5039 and place your order by phone. Be sure to give them the discount code.
For those who don’t follow these suggestions, a gift certificate for organizing services is always an option!
May your Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Festivus, or Winter Solstice be bright and joyful.