We have to admit: the idea crossed our mind.
But judging from this New York Times article, that may not be the most popular idea. Still, we think some of the people interviewed in the article are on the right track, like Jenni Skyler, who suggested replacing gift giving with time donated to charity. That idea was nixed by her family. But a growing stream of research shows that people are much happier when they spend time, rather than money. (For the academic perspective, see "To Do or To Have? That is the Question" PDF by Leaf Van Boven and Tom Gilovich and forthcoming research by Wendy Liu and Jennifer Aaker.)
We think a shift towards giving time, rather than money, would benefit not only the earth, but also people.
What are you planning on giving this holiday season: time or money? Illustration by Gary Hallgren excerpted from NYTimes.