The Gift of Experience

The Gift of Experience

A gift doesn’t always have to be a physical item – it could a sweet sentiment, a memory or giving back to the community. I, for one, have too much stuff. I often get doubles of things, and sometimes things I’ll never use. I don’t want the holidays to be revolved around unnecessary gifts when a gift from the heart will do.

Cue the gift of experience. Ready to make or do something instead of buy something? Here are eight ideas of how to make the holidays special without buying a gift:

Make Cookies

Who doesn’t love warm, fresh baked cookies around the holiday time? Sure, it’s convenient and easy to pick up a roll of pre-made cookie dough, but it’s so much more satisfying making them from scratch. Co-op Market has an array of baking supplies for all our cookie needs. From cookie cutters and rolling pins to Nutiva Coconut Flour, Frontier Baking Powder, Karmalize.Me Almonds and Frontier Cacao Nibs, your cookies will be the talk of the town! Give cookies to family or friends or do a cookie exchange with co-workers!

Camp out – Inside

Building forts was one of my favorite childhood pastimes, and now I can instill that love into my toddler. The goal is to pretend it’s not a balmy 15 degrees out. Inside our fort, we’ll have a laptop “fire” complete food served on/in Preserve Cups.and Ultra Green Compostable Plates. We’ll end the evening with s’mores (using Equal Exchange Chocolate) and frozen hot chocolate (using Frontier Cocoa Powder and SweetLeaf Stevia Packets). It may not take the place of an expensive camping trip, but this fun memory will last a lifetime.

DIY Gifts

Everyone loves a homemade gift. Whether we make a gift basket using Simply Organic spices, a personal care recipe featuring Aura Cacia Essential Oils, or make our own spice blend using Frontier Bulk products, it’s something my busy toddler and I can do together. This year, our goal is to make all of our Christmas gifts by hand. So far, we have gift baskets for the baker, for the outdoors lover, for the newlyweds, for the candle and coffee lover – all using the products we sell on Co-op Market!

Donate to Charity

We’re fortunate to have a plethora of toys and playthings on Co-op Market. Green Toys, SOPHi, LunaStar Naturals and Piggy Paint are just a few of the brands we carry. For the older kids, we have art supplies, face painting and nail polish. My toddler and I will purchase a few of our favorites and donate them to kids in need. It not only instills the spirt of Christmas, but gives kids less fortunate something to open on Christmas. These toys are non-toxic, lead-free and some are made from recycled plastic – a win for the planet, too!

Make a Meal Together

Having a toddler in the kitchen is usually a stressful endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be! With Simply Organic Meal Mixes, Simply Organic Simmer Sauces and Breads by Anna Bread Mixes, my toddler can help crack eggs, add milk or stir the pot without making a mess out of the kitchen. These convenient mixes are easy to use, delicious and feature clean ingredients. Most of them also take less than 45 minutes, which is win in my book. Deliver these homemade meals to families in need for an extra warm fuzzy!

Beauty Makeover

My little girl loves to pamper herself. She loves helping me as I put on lotion, make-up and nail polish. Fortunately, Co-op Market’s non-toxic, eco-friendly products make it easy for me to put the same products on my daughter without worrying about chemicals and preservatives. This year, my daughter and I plan on having a girls night complete with Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Leg & Foot Crème, Nature's Gate Coffee Body Scrub, Andalou Naturals Facial Mask, SOPHi Nail Polish and Alba Botanica Lotion. It’s like our own mini salon at home – more fun and less expensive.

Make a Craft

I wish I could say I’m a crafty mom, but I am not. But, with so much time on my hands these next few weeks, I need ideas to keep my toddler busy. Good thing Co-op Market makes it easy with their selection of paper plates, paper bags, paper cups, colored pencils, tracing paper, cheese cloth, twine, tins, straws, socks (hello, sock puppets!), dried flowers and tissue boxes. This is the gift that keeps on giving – providing your busy child with something to do and making memories and keepsakes for years to come.

Mommy & Me Yoga

I would not consider myself a yogi, but I do like to unwind once in a while with a good yoga session. I usually do my yoga outside, but when that’s not an option, a dim-lighted room will do. I spray myself and my Natural Fitness Yoga Mat with Aura Cacia Yoga Mist before starting and keep my Full Circle Water Bottle handy in case I break a sweat. Normally, I go barefoot, but in the cold winter months, I may throw on my Maggie’s Organic Sport Socks for comfort and warmth. This is not only a great bonding experience with your little, but it’s a go-to ticket to relaxation.

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