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Plan ahead for memorable holiday experiences | Climate Action Now | Your Stuff - December 3, 2013
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Friends cooking together

Cooking with friends, or a gift of cooking classes, can be a great way to celebrate the holidays.

During the holiday season, we can often feel like we’re short on time, money and patience. This year, rethink how you celebrate the season and get what you need so you can spend more time with family and friends, support local businesses and make your choices have a positive impact on the community and the environment.

A better experience for those on your list — and you

Give gifts of experience, rather than stuff, and make a lasting impression. Our holiday gift guide offers a few ideas: cooking lessons, yoga or dance classes, gift certificates, tickets to a play or museum, a cheese or wine club subscription or a Community-supported Agriculture (CSA) membership. You could also encourage your friends to set up or buy from an alternative gift registry and resolve to try something different for gift giving.

Share the experience and make a day of it with a friend or family member. Enjoy this time of year and what it offers, from twinkling lights to indulging at a local restaurant or holiday-themed play.

Consider giving your time or expertise. For example, if you are an excellent cook, gift a couple of hours teaching someone how to prepare a special meal or make homemade jams and preserves.

Visit local school and church bazaars or head downtown to Saturday Market for hand-made items and locally-produced goods. Portland-area small businesses are celebrating too.

Start with a little planning

Lower stress and keep shopping trips organized by creating a gift list. Save time by mapping out the places you want to shop and combining trips.

Don’t forget your reusable shopping bags!

They’re not just for groceries anymore. Since October 1, 2013, all Portland businesses, including retailers and food providers, are no longer offering plastic check-out bags.

Wrap with care

Creative options abound for wrapping and presenting gifts to cut down on waste and help you save money.

  • Buy or make a fabric bag that can be reused.
  • Use decorative bags and wrapping paper made from recycled paper.
  • Create wrapping paper with old books or maps or involve your kids by using their art projects.
  • Decorate gifts with ribbons and bows from other celebrations or add a bit of nature by using a sprig of greenery.

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Plan ahead for memorable holiday experiences | Climate Action Now | Your Stuff - With simple planning and creative thinking, tackle your shopping and to-do lists while saving money, reducing waste and enjoying the experience just a little more.
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