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As we were working on our own conscious consumer holiday gift-giving and toy shopping guides, we discovered that our Generation Good members were a great resource for helpful tips and ideas for gifting with purpose this season. Want to join the conversation? Become a Generation Good member and share your ideas in the forum!

Give experiences vs. “stuff”

  • I like to give and get experiences. Movie tickets. A zoo or museum membership. An ice cream date with a favorite aunt. These don't bring more clutter into my home, and provide awesome memories. - Christie S.
  • One of the things my family does is a gift of travel. My parents, and siblings all travel to one location, and each sibling takes a day where they plan an activity or dinner and that is their gift. It's a memory instead of something material. I really enjoy it. - Cheryl W.

Encourage readers and thinkers

  • I like giving age-appropriate e-magazine subscriptions as gifts for children. There is no waste, and many times, there are additional features available in the online version of the publication. - Mary D.
  • I like to shop Fair Trade. Not only are they unique gifts to give, but usually conversation starters too! - Sarah B.
  • Let the kids read as many books as possible. Books are gifts that keep giving year after year. - Mary W.

Follow a “pay it forward” ethos

  • It's hard to avoid consumerism during the holiday season when we're inundated with images and ads all around us. I take a pragmatic approach and tell my daughter that for every gift on her wish list, she needs to put two items she has into a giveaway list. This helps her keep her "wants" in perspective and allows for a learning opportunity on charity and goodwill. We take her giveaway pile to a donation center or find a way to repurpose some items. - Karen L.
  • Give them gifts that matter. I buy the stuffed animal at Kohls each year that gives a kid a gift, too. My nephew thinks that is so special. Also, buy them vegan, cruelty products and explain it to them. They’re more open to this information then you think. - Michelle H.

Do “more with less”

  • We make economical gifts that their teachers can use, such as organic face scrubs, scouring powders, etc. Packed in reusable canning jars make these gifts economical and reusable! (Especially for a teacher!) - Greta H.
  • We try to purchase as few gifts as possible that take batteries. There are so many other options than light-up, noise making toys, etc. and the batteries are just one more thing that wind up in the trash. - Miriam H.
  • Instead of overloading the kids with gifts, we go with the four gift rule: 1 thing they want, 1 thing they need, 1 thing they wear, 1 thing they read. - Margret G.