The holiday season is upon us! It's a time of the year that can bring as much stress as it does joy, especially when trying to find your loved ones that perfect gift. Meaningfulness, thoughtfulness, and awareness are aspects that many of us like to integrate into our gift-giving, and it’s often difficult to put a price on them.

It is in the spirit of our shared values that the Office of Sustainability, Office of Diversity and Equity, and the Employee Wellness Program joined forces to compile our first-ever equitable, sustainable, and healthy holiday giving ideas list.

What makes this list different from others is our intentional focus on no-cost or low-cost ideas. Take a look at this video from our County's Green Team, and our ideas list (below) to discover how you can give in thoughtful and meaningful ways this holiday season.

Tell or show others why they are important to you.

  • Are you crafty? Make a card or tree ornament
  • Send an e-card
  • Handwrite a letter
  • Write a poem
  • Cook a favorite meal for someone

If you give things, be sure that they are useful.

  • Gift healthy snacks like trail mix, fresh fruit or soup mix in a mason jar
  • Winter accessories
  • Give a gift certificate from a local business
  • Choose to reuse. Replace single-use plastic cutlery with bamboo utensils for eating on the go
  • Teach someone a skill 

Instead of giving things, give experiences.

  • Take a friend out for coffee or tea
  • Go on a group hike
  • Gift a spa or massage package
  • Enjoy a concert or movie together
  • Organize a clothing or housewares swap with others

Donate your time to friends, family and community.

  • Rake leaves or help with some light yard work
  • Help a friend bake cookies
  • Offer friends a night of babysitting
  • Assist someone with getting a plot at a community garden
  • Ask a loved one what would be most helpful for them, and assist where possible

Enjoy Multnomah County resources and free classes with friends and loved ones.

Bonus points on the gift ideas listed above: