Readers on alternatives to gift giving

<b>The Gift of Time</b>

"Our family gives gifts to the children and young adults. For each other we give the gift of time. One year it might be help on a project around the house, or a trip to the coast & a picnic. It might be wine tasting or beer tasting - almost all outings include a meal. It isn't always cheaper than a present, but none of us needs anything and the time spent together is the point. There's usually a small consumable gift under the tree like wine, coffee, cocktail napkins, etc."

Nancy King

Santa Rosa

<b>Gifts for the Greater Good</b>

"For years we were just nuts in our house with the gift-giving. I think it became a sort of contest, with some competitive overtones; who got the best, most, biggest sort of thing. It was pretty silly because we all love to bargain shop, so we were getting ready for the post-holiday sales while opening our gifts. We cut the addition, cold turkey, and it wasn't painful at all. Now we look for a gift that represents something bigger. A scarf from The Greater Good Network to help people, animals or the planet - or a wrist bracelet acknowledging a donation to the Team Jesse Foundation, formed to honor Sgt. Jesse Williams of Santa Rosa who was killed in Iraq. We enjoy the &‘thing' but the gift is far greater!"

Christine Scioli


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