- Family Membership at your local art gallery or museum where you can appreciate the cultural diversity and wonders of our world as a family.
- Classes. Art or music or sign language or dancing or that embarrassing thing they’ve always been too scared to sign up for because people will laugh at them. Dungeons and Dragons sessions? Absolutely!
- Tickets to an event they won’t splurge on. A concert, a play, a weird-ass art installation, a sporting event.
- Charitable donations to a cause that is near and dear to your heart. For me, that means a mental health service and a crohns and colitis foundation. And a recent addition, a refugee settling organization.
- A really nice winter coat that isn’t their size. Or a really nice business suit in the wrong size. We have have coats and work clothes don’t we. Bring these new ones to a homeless shelter because those folks can’t just go out buy whatever they feel like whenever they feel like it.
- Homemade gifts like pancake mixes, bread, ready-to-cook meals, bird houses, paintings, mittens, and hats.
- Homemade gift certificates for an on-demand neck massage, leaf raking, snow shoveling, home manicure, or some other chore that they always do for you.
- A middle-aged shelter dog. Do you have bunches of love left to give? Do you need to exercise more? Should you spend more time with the kiddies? Make it a three-for-one deal.
Bonus gift: Membership in an industry organization. In marketing research, there are literally hundreds of choices and as much as we’d like to join all of them, most of us only join two or three. Try the MRIA in Canada, or MRA/CASRO/TheARF in the USA, MRS in the UK, AMSRS or RANZ in the pacific region, or ESOMAR globally.
Why? Because most of us don’t NEED anything. We have food on the table, clothes in our closets, and warm homes to go to every day. We don’t need more stuff. Just more love.