Times are changing. We’ve moved into an age where you’re either growing in your social awareness or getting lost in the wave.
It’s nearly impossible to avoid looking at the world from the scope of, “it’s not all about me.” Now that the holidays are here, we can start practicing what we tweet by putting our money where our mouth is, and give more deliberately this holiday season.
If you ask me, some of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received weren’t the ones that cost the most, but had the most love and thought behind them. Don’t get me wrong, clothes, electronics, and jewelry are beautiful gift ideas. But wouldn’t it be that much more meaningful if we put more thought and intention behind what our family and loved ones receive?
This year, let’s get into the spirit of cheer by giving our loved ones more heartfelt and intentional gift.
Feminine hygiene products for the less fortunate
Have you ever been out on the town, rocking your favorite jeans, and out of nowhere, your monthly friend shows up unannounced and ready to cause a scene. Like, who invited her? But no worries, you may not have come prepared, but your friend Susan always keeps an extra nontoxic tampon on her for emergencies like this: problem solved.
However, if you’re one of the 25 million young women in the US who live below the poverty line with limited resources to access feminine hygiene products, this scene could look a lot different for you. Organizations such as Helping Women Period and #HappyPeriod allow you to be a friend to homeless and low-income women who are in need of these very products.
By 2021, Black women will hold a staggering $1.5 trillion in buying power, but sometimes in our community, the money we spend and make don’t always get spent and made back with us. The recent #BlackGirlMagic movement can be accredited for this economic boost, so let’s get in formation ladies!
Each year, publication after publication curates lists of black-owned businesses to get your gift shopping on with, so here’s your task: find one and go off! From skincare, clothing, and candles, there are plenty of products to choose from. Let’s put our dollar back in our community and keep that thing circulating; not just during the holidays, but all year long.
Gift an experience
Material things last for a short time but memories last forever. There’s nothing like the feeling you get while planning a trip that you’ve worked and saved for. This year, try investing in an elaborate girl’s trip with your friends or an intimate bae-cation abroad.
I know that iPhone X is looking really nice, but that 7 Plus you have will capture the moment just fine, save your coins. Even if you can’t afford to put down for the whole trip right now, gift yourself a savings account on Mint or You Need A Budget to help you plan to put away. Or make an even smaller step by filling your passport application, baby steps.
Give your time
Let’s face it, as a 20-something, many of us aren’t out here rolling in enough dough to spend hundreds of dollars on elaborate gifts for all 4 of our siblings, mom, dad, granny, pop-pop, and all of our favorite cousins. Instead of stressing over who you can afford to get what, give you time. That cousin that’s been bugging you all year for driving lessons, teach them. Don’t have the best relationship with your uncle’s new wife? Plan a brunch together. You and your sister aren’t on the best terms? Schedule a facetime session to work things out.
Support an entrepreneur
We all have that one relative or friend that we knew would never have a regular job because they were just too creative. Eventually, they branched out, started to do their own thing, but came across some of the roadblocks that every budding entrepreneur or freelancer will experience along the way. This isn’t a time to drag them for their shortcomings, instead support their project!
Buy your photographer friends some batteries or a new USB drive, purchase a new template for blogging cousin, purchase a product from your business owner friend then gift it to your other friends. It’s hard out here for a creative, show them some love.
How do you plan on being a better gift giver this year?
Aley Arion is the greatest writer you never heard of. In 2014, aleyarion.com was launched as an escape from her mundane college studies and now serves as a digital diary for all things millennial-lifestyle related. Writing is how she processes the world and the events that take place within it. Her goal is to use her voice and storytelling ability to inspire 20-something’s to hope in a better “tomorrow,” no matter how their “today” looks. She currently works as a freelance writer, with bylines in Blavity, Hello Giggles, and now, Creative Smart Girl.