Tis the season to be generous! For hundreds of years, we’ve brightened up the darkest days of winter by exchanging gifts with the people we love. (Even before Christmas caught on, gift-giving around the winter solstice was a pagan tradition.)
Nowadays though you’ll often hear people worrying that Christmas has got far too expensive. It’s hard to get the perfect gift for that person who has everything. Plus, fighting through the overcrowded shopping centres is no-one’s favourite activity.
Here at eSpares, we present an alternative. Instead of exchanging physical gifts, we recommend exchanging skills.
Why skills make great gifts
Whether it’s cooking, DIY, sewing or gardening, learning a skill is super useful. You don’t have to buy new trousers if the button comes off or hire an engineer if your cooker stops heating up the week before Christmas.
- Save money
Get a seasonal bargain and you’ll save money once. Get a new skill under your belt and save money for a lifetime! Who doesn’t want that?
- Gift on a budget
You may need to buy a few materials, but other than that this giving the gift of a brand new skill is very bank balance friendly.
- Enjoy quality time
There’s no substitute for spending time with the people you love and getting together to exchange your expertise is a perfect way to do this.
- Save the planet
The environment has been a hot topic recently. Exchanging skills lets you mend or up-cycle old items so they don’t go to waste.
How you can turn your skills into gifts
Everyone has something to offer in the skills arena. We’ve put together some ideas to get you started.
- Baking a cake will come in useful at every single birthday celebration for the rest of time (and increase workplace popularity!)
- Making a pizza (tossing optional) provides a healthier cheaper alternative to takeaway and is a great minimum-effort dinner party food.
- Refreshing an old piece of clothing can be as simple as changing the buttons or adding embroidery patches.
- Knitting a scarf (beginner level) or cardigan (advanced level) helps keep out the winter cold.
- Setting up a social media, WhatsApp or Skype account for a technophobe introduces them to a whole new mode of communication.
- Video games can improve reflexes and logical thinking and learning how to play them opens up a whole new genre of entertainment.
- Growing potato or tomato plants, which are super easy to look after, will soon produce tasty rewards.
- Setting some flower seeds or planting festive foliage will (after a bit of time) provide a beautiful free resource for home decoration.
- A crash course in power tools (or basic tools like screwdrivers depending on existing knowledge) is the first step into a world of DIY and repairs.
- Working together to fix something when it’s broken will make the job go by more quickly as well as saving it from going to waste.
If you still can’t think of a skill you can offer your recipient, why not learn something together? The internet is full of bloggers, YouTubers and even businesses (like us) who have tutorials that let you learn skills 100% for free.