GIFTS – Nothing

Happy Black Friday!
Once again we’ve reached that time of year where I post my list of places to get unusual or special gifts. I’ve been doing this for so many years I’m not sure that my picks are a surprise or out of the norm any more. I point to the usual places every year. This year I’m going to start off with something different. I’m starting with NOTHING. Very appropriate for Black Friday

My original idea was to give nothing but still give something. Give of your time, your heart, but not necessarily your wallet. With researching this theme of “Nothing” I came up with some things that are something more than nothing, yet still may be nothing to your wallet or only a little something, or may cost something but really be from the heart…..

First up, let’s talk about Nothing with Wikipedia and then for entertainment value you can visit the Nothing Blog.


Now, Let’s get creative with your nothing. Put together a playlist, a mix CD or DVD around Nothing:
Nothing Compares
Nothing Else Matters
Nothing to Give
Nothing to Give (Cunninlyguists)
The Gift of Nothing
Better yet, make a mix out of the songs or videos that your giftee loves. I’ve not met anyone that doesn’t like a well thought out and put together mix CD or DVD.

Fun Nothing ideas. These may cost something but they still have a laughable or sweet sentiment:
The Gift of Nothing (a book)
DIY yourself a Jar of Nothing
Nothing is worth more than today
Lots of nothing to give
Nothing at all

More ideas from another source to give “nothing” for the holidays
Buy Nothing Christmas

Something that is something to someone and maybe something to the giftee but may be nothing tangible like a toy….Charitable gifts or donations. You can make these at anytime but to combat a little of that consumerism, you can buy a gift of charity in your giftee’s honor. Some of my favorite places:
Heifer International This is a favorite of many fiberists. If you don’t know about them yet, check them out. As with any charity I post here, I do recommend you don’t take my word for it and you check them out to see if they meet your charitable criteria..

The Humane Society. Both of our dogs are rescues. I usually choose to give to the local shelters but giving to the Humane Society is a good thing too.

Susan G Komen for the Cure. There are a couple of different Breast cancer foundations out there. This is usually the one we prefer to give to. Though its usually when someone is doing a race or walk for the cure.

UNICEF and many other places (often local to you) organizations are out there to help kids.

If you don’t have your own favorites or want to do something that may suit your giftee better, check out the Charity Navigator

There are some fabulous ideas out there. I know some of you probably already do them. I want to hear them and so do others that read this. I know there are still some of you that read. I’ve been slack about posting but I’m sure there are people that come here to read. And who doesn’t love the gift guide and all the helpful hints that you guys post. You all were so creative last year with the recycling projects. Let’s see what you come up with for the “Nothing” theme.

ok people. There is no reason to send me angry emails about this post. For those that know me, you all know I support buying local or from Indie business and less consumerism. If those that emailed me actually clicked on some of the links, you would see that some of them are about spending money. I understand how the economy works and would appreciate no more emails about how I’m actually fostering the recession. For those that have bored wallets, the next couple of weeks will have more spendy ideas.

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20 Responses to GIFTS – Nothing

  1. PuppyMomma says:

    Do me a favor, buy SOMETHING. So I can continue to pay my mortgage?

  2. alke says:

    Really, there is nothing I can say… of course we’re all still here!

    Love these idea’s, as I have to consume less for quite a while now. Sadly, I have nothing to add at this time…

  3. I am totally a fan of not buying anything too extravagant for the holidays this year…

    However, we cannot foster economic growth to get us back in the “rich country” category where people don’t have to worry about jobs unless we buy something. Buy things that matter, or that help others. Don’t just consume for the sake of consuming.

    We still need the sales in order to help the stock market grow, and to help all the small businesses stay afloat.

    How about buying a small thing, and then using it as a starting point for a bigger gift? For example, buy the yarn from your LYS, but include a piece of paper stating that you will teach the person to knit. Or a box of tea, with the idea to teach someone the Japanese Tea Ceremony?

    We need to spend less money, but not to cause more suffering in the whole economy by not spending at all.

  4. Kate says:

    Love this post – especially your link to charitable foundations. Heifer and the Humane Society are two favorites of mine.

    The consumerism of Christmastime has become increasingly disturbing to me. My husband and I are trying to limit the gifts our kids receive and spend more time on emphasizing and enjoying being with family and celebrating what we are thankful for. It has actually made this time of year much more enjoyable for all of us.

  5. John says:

    People aren’t happy unless they’re complaining about something! I love this post and the sentiment behind it. Put your money where it matters and will do the most good. The insanity of mothers fighting each other in stores over toys, people getting trampled by masses trying to save a buck, and the rest of what has become of the holidays needs to end, recession or not. There are plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday season AND boost the economy AND support local businesses without going into debit and promoting this insane culture of consumerism. A country full of people in debt is equally unstable economically as one where people aren’t spending!

  6. DebbieB says:

    I love you and your ideas! I’m giving the gift of my time and my skill, as well as purchasing things. This is a great reminder of charitable donations, as well as gifts from the heart.


  7. Bridget says:

    Great and thoughtful ideas Amy!

  8. Lindsey says:

    Sheesh, I can’t believe people are MAD at you for not being overly consumptive (is that the right word? Brain is failing today!) or wanting to support charities. Hugs to you Amy, I think you have some great ideas!

    I have some family members who really don’t NEED any consumer goods at all, so we do the charitable donations thing. Something I found a few years ago was a service that lets you give a “charity gift card”–the recipient can choose pretty much any charity they want to give the money do. There are a few companies that do it, just screen them carefully to make sure they’re not keeping a big cut for themselves.

  9. Julie says:

    I LOVE this post, Amy! I can’t believe you received negative comments on it; some people just don’t get it.

  10. Wendy says:

    I’m gobsmacked that people would get angry at you for this post.

    I’ve been struck all year with a thought that my friend said to me, “Enough is the new plenty.” If I have enough, I give. If I don’t, I make and give, I pledge and give, whatever. If the holidays aren’t about consumerism, and they really shouldn’t be, neither are they about a duty to spend to bring us out of the recession.

    The holidays are about love, love and love, however you express that.

    And I love Amy, so there!

  11. lisa says:

    We decided that this year all the nieces and nephews are collectively buying a family a llama from Heifer. Because they really don’t need anything.

  12. Rachel says:

    Making something is so much better than buying something in my opinion.

  13. Leigh says:

    I’ve been influenced by your blog over the years, in terms of what to make next, and luscious yarn to buy; but who knew you where influential enough to inspire a world wide recession! And here was I thinking it was the bankers.

  14. Chewiedox says:

    A handmade blank book is the perfect nothing & something at the same time. It can be made of simple materials such as craft paper, old gift wrap, and even recycled junk mail..Stitched together with bits of yarn, embroidery thread, or even dental floss if that’s all you have..Covers can be decorated with handmade stamps, collage, whatever and you can hide your favorite quote or a bit of trivia on one of the inside pages.

  15. bogiesgirl says:

    I love you just the way you are… with no reference to Billy Joel!

  16. Kathryn says:

    Even when you’ve got nothing. . you keep on giving. Thanks!

  17. Danielle says:

    Grandma sent this email last week … “The economy in my county here in Florida is very bad now. This year we have over 600 children who are homeless. It hurts to see families living in cars, wooded areas, in the forest and in shelters when our families have so much. It is my decision this year to use the money I would have spent in the past for your Christmas gifts to make a donation to the food bank here in Leesburg.”

    So, I’ll be making a donation to the food bank in her honor. Boss Lady is getting a gift certificate so she can choose her own charity. In-laws are getting public television donations (they watch UConn b-ball on CPTV). Mom gets a donation to the “friends of the public library” group in our town. Dad, who helps us fix LOTS of things around the house, will get a gift to Habitat for Humanity in his name.

  18. LaurieG says:

    Every year I ask my husband to perform one of my favorite Christmas songs. A personal performance by friends and family would be an AWESOME gift! Also, for years my friends and I would create funny stick figure comic books featuring the recipient in some hilarious situation. And both these gifts would be great to do with kids.

  19. Lucia says:

    A big round HUZZAH to you for this post. We buy too many things we don’t need and can’t use, or things we think we have to have because someone else has them. And any real goods that we produce, any value we create, gets efficiently sucked right out of the economy and into the pockets of the Wall Street financiers. That, and not any belt-tightening or any individual household’s attempt to live sustainably or just sanely, is what is driving us to rack and ruin.

    Ahem. (steps off soapbox) Once again this year I will make as much as I can — I wish I were as productive as you — and I won’t buy clutter. (Although if I could sell clutter, I’d be rich.) I think at least one of my relatives is due for a llama. One given in their name to Heifer, I mean, not pastured in their back yard. Although that might be kind of cool.

  20. Annalea says:

    I like this post, Amy. A Lot.

    Here’s to more Nothing in the Holidays . . . I could sure use some . . .

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