There are so many reasons to stop gifting more “stuff.” For one, the planet appreciates it, and, as new studies are showing, busy families do too!
Getting a thoughtful gift can feel fantastic, but creating more free time to focus on ourselves, decrease stress, and be with family and friends can reap even bigger benefits.
More time = more happiness
A recent study published in PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, asked an important question: if people spend some of their income to pay for help with chores like cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping, will this extra free time promote greater well-being and overall happiness? This may seem like an obvious “yes” to some, but the study proved it to be resoundingly true!
In fact, across seven studies in different countries, with over 6,000 respondents, spending money to buy time was linked to greater life satisfaction, and less stress! Participants were given a budget to buy time saving services versus material gifts, and as a result, felt less stress and an overall boost in happiness.
Giving the gift of time also has amazing benefits for our communities and families. Supporting a local service provider can keep more moms in the workforce. Plus, it’s no secret that when you hire a small-business owner, you’ll get a stellar customer service experience compared to big brands that treat you like just another consumer.
What type of services make the best gifts? Here are our picks to wow everyone on your list.
Time-saving services: clean it, prep it, plan it
Housekeeping- Think about how many hours you spend cleaning up your house each week. It’s probably way more than you want to! A housekeeper can save you countless hours to spend enjoying hobbies, being with family or practicing self-care.
Meal prep- Eating healthier meals and spending more time connecting with family around the dinner table sounds awesome, but schedules can make that really hard to achieve. With a meal prep service, you’ll spend less time at the grocery store, planning meals, and chopping, and more time enjoying tasty food that is designed with your family’s needs in mind. Added bonus of a meal prep over a delivery service is the reduction in packaging waste and less mess to clean-up.
Event planning- Does your spouse, family member, or close friend have a big day coming up that you want to help them celebrate? If so, treating them to event or party planning services will allow them to sit back and enjoy their special day, sans a million details!
General home help- There is a lot that goes into taking care of a home: errands, organizing, dry-cleaning, dog grooming, ordering, and on and on. These small tasks can eat up an entire day! Fortunately, there’s a service provider for that. A person skilled in the art of doing it all is the perfect gift to give to yourself (who doesn't want an extra set of hands?!) or that busy person in your life that hasn’t had time to see you in months.
Goal-focused services: healthy, wealthy, wise
Life + nutritional coaching- For many, the new year is all about getting healthier and working through anything that may be holding us back. Help someone you love commit to their health and well-being with a coaching package, a very thoughtful and personal gift that can have a huge impact.
Relationship coaching- Bringing harmony to your home is a goal worth pursuing and a gift worth giving.
Financial consulting- Finances may not be everyone’s favorite topic, but having the right help to keep your money health in check can make all the difference. Whether you need accounting, bookkeeping, or family planning help, there’s a service provider for that.
Tutoring- Giving your kids the gift of personalized education may not be as appreciated as a new iPhone, at first, but when they’re able to ace tests, feel more confident, and spending less time agonizing over homework, they’ll thank you (ok, maybe not, but someday they will)! This is also a great gift for adults hoping to learn a new language!
Career coaching- Anyone that’s struggling to make that next big career move, or branch out on their own, knows how helpful an outside perspective can be. Career coaches can help at any stage or age to work through goals, skills, and possibilities.
Music lessons- So many people want to learn an instrument but haven’t made the investment. Help them get started with lessons and be sure to help them get everything set up so the gift goes to good use!
All things happy home: decorate, organize, display
Photography- Fun memories on the walls make every home a happier place, but taking your own photos can result in lackluster results, or photos that live on your computer forever. Capture the little moments to bring you smiles for years to come.
Interior design- You may have a vision that you’d like to bring to life in your home, but doing it all yourself can be daunting. Let a pro help you create a room you’ll love spending time in.
Organizing- From kitchens to closets, there’s a service provider for your organizing needs big and small. If you know someone who’s been putting off organizing, and let’s be honest, most of us probably are, then this is the gift your whole family will appreciate!
Find the perfect gift for someone you love—or give a hint to someone that loves you. Visit the Pepperlane Marketplace to support another mom in business.