The Best Gifts

For all of you out there who didn’t attend the Black Friday shopping sprees or surf the web for Cyber Monday deals, there is still hope. There are plenty of homemade gifts just waiting to be created. When I was a little kid, my parents always told me that a homemade gift is always appreciated more than one bought from the store. Not that I could have driven to the store anyway. Nevertheless, thankfully, I had plenty of art classes and industrial art classes from which I could produce enough gifts for the whole family. Am I old enough to say that ‘those were the days’? My parents still have all of my gifts scattered throughout the house. A plastic bowl I formed and melted, a metal paper weight that I forged and cleaned, ceramic bowls, plastic picture frames, and more. These are the gifts that stay around. Another gift that isn’t really tangible but extremely easy to construct are the coupon books I used to give my parents. These would be things that I would do around the house or yard, such as vacuuming, pulling weeds, dusting, and the dreadful picking up sticks. I admittedly despised picking up sticks, but in light of the holiday season, I truly gave my all. As the years went by and I finally got my driver’s license, the gifts gradually decreased from homemade to almost all store-bought. However, now when money can be tight, I think it’s important to note that coupon books can still be given and greatly appreciated. Ever heard the saying “time is money and money is time”? Giving your time to help can be easy on your wallet and can be beneficial to you and your family’s health as well. Here are some ideas for your own coupon book and ‘green’ gift ideas:

  • Give the gift of recycling. In cities where recycling isn’t free, offer to get them started and pay for a couple of months.
  • Make coupons for washing floors and window sills to protect kids from dust.
  • Offer to make a delicious meal for your family and rinse fruits and vegetables under running water before eating.
  • Create coupons for cleaning bikes and tennis shoes for when the weather gets warm to take walks.
  • Compose a coupon to vacuum and dust your house to prevent triggers to asthma attacks and allergies.

There are many other things that can be added to your coupon book to help your family stay healthy and green this season. Remember, you don’t always have to spend a lot to give a lot.

About the author: Emily Bruckmann is an intern at the Office of Children’s Health Protection. She is a senior attending Indiana University who will graduate with a degree in public health this spring.