Sending Love Is Simple

Sending Love Is Simple

Great ideas abound without breaking the bank

Making Ripples

Crummy covid-19 getting you down over the holidays? Warm some hearts you love with creative gifts that do good for the environment and those most vulnerable. Options abound! At what other point in history can you stage your own backyard rendition of “The Nutcracker” to an audience on the other side of a picture window?

Truly memorable gifts are often inexpensive, from the heart, and show someone that you really see them. You know who they are, what they’re struggling with or which hobbies they enjoy. For those who don’t want more stuff, you can still give experiences to be enjoyed in the coming years or safe, socially distanced getaways to a destination close to home.

Give away books you’ve enjoyed yourself and want to send to someone you know would love reading them because the topic relates to them. Most of our books look brand-new, and sometimes it’s difficult to part with them because they were great reads, but that makes the gift more meaningful, too.

Toilet paper rolls can be made into little holiday candy gift tubes that fit between the screen door and the main door. Just press in the sides of the roll on one end and glue them together, fill with candies, close the other end, and be sure to decorate the outside with colorful paper, fabric scraps, ribbons, newspaper comics or whatever you have on hand.

Find out if your gift recipient’s favorite restaurant offers gift cards. Gift cards to local restaurants and small businesses could mean the difference between whether you ever get to eat there again or not. Plus, it’s easier than ever to get a gift card from a business near a friend or relative who lives in a different state, which helps support their communities. Businesses that support the environment or are black-owned or representing minority and vulnerable communities should receive our special consideration because they have been hit even harder this year by overlapping problems, such as racism and pollution.

Truly memorable gifts are often inexpensive, from the heart, and show someone that you really see them.
(Courtesy Image/Shutterstock)

If the item you’re looking for can be crafted locally, ask around to see if there is a local maker who can do it within your budget or search online for independent makers on sites such as Etsy. A lot of people now have their wares for sale online either on a personal website or a collective shop, so you never know if what you usually buy is unavailable or if it just moved online.

There are still Fayetteville Farmers’ Markets, too, whether you go in person or order online for pickup or delivery. Dec. 19 is a Holiday Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to fresh produce and canned items, you might find some surprises, like a local handmade Jenga game set, colorful kids’ face masks, goat cheese, natural wreaths and traditional holiday treats like peanut brittle. For instructions and to place an order, visit

Sometimes the best gifts are donations in honor or memory of a loved one. St. Paul’s Alternative Gift Market invites people to donate online this year. Visit to learn more and select your charities.

Homemade cookies are nothing new, but they never get old as a comforting gift. Videos and recordings of singing or cozy at-home moments are usually appreciated by quarantined family members. Complement a homemade gift with homemade wrapping by using brown paper grocery bags, twine, pine cones and branches with bright red berries. We reuse favorite wrapping paper purchased years ago from the store. Some of it must be 10 years old, and it does show wear and tear, but the designs are familiar friends. Whether you perform for the grandparents watching through their window, or send dozens of gift cards across the miles, I hope you have a happy holiday season!

Amanda Bancroft is a writer, artist, and naturalist living in an off-grid tiny house on Kessler Mountain. She and her husband Ryan blog about their adventures and offer tips to those wanting to make a difference at

Categories: Making Ripples