5 Ways Gift Giving Is Different in 2020

Gift giving is obviously rewarding when you're the gift giver — and it's not too bad to be on the receiving end of a gift, either. But the gift-giving exchange can feel perfunctory and expensive, and, at times, even cause great stress.

In a holiday season unlike any other — where we all need to relax and rethink our normal routines — our CircleAround team has rounded up our favorite gift-giving stories from 2020.

Each of these stories has a unique perspective on gift-giving. We hope you find these different takes useful while doing your holiday shopping.

1. She's Not a Scrooge

This woman is fed up not only with buying gifts, but receiving them, too. It's not that she's miserly or mean — it's just that she's playing chess while the rest of us are playing checkers.

"I vowed that I would do Christmas differently moving forward. I didn’t want to burden people with things they may or may not like — sure, I was a thoughtful gift-giver, but wasn’t there always a chance that the present we give to someone may not be to their liking and will just end up being re-gifted or donated? The hours and money we spend in this endeavor and the pressure we put on ourselves is simply unsustainable and completely unnecessary."

2. They Shall Be Led by a Child

Every year since she was a little girl of 4 years old, Carrington Craig has been leading massive toy drives for other kids, particularly those in hospitals. And guess what? She's still a little kid — and she's delivered thousands of toys every year.

Now a middle schooler, she's added a caroling event and a goal to donate 20,000 toys to kids each holiday season. What a remarkable young woman.

3. Experiences Can Outlast Presents

Sometimes, the best gift for kids will be experiences they can hold onto for years and years — like classes, trips, and even walks in the woods. "The research tells us that a big part of why receiving experiences brings us more happiness is the anticipation we feel between gift and the actual experience. So, giving kids the promise of experiences to come not only offers them quality time but all of the goodness they’ll feel when looking forward to it."

4. Gang Up on Your Friends

During the pandemic, a group of friends decided that, because they couldn't get together in person, they would team up on birthdays to get their friends a meaningful, fun present. "When done correctly, it not only shows a person you were thinking of them, but also that you pay attention to and celebrate their unique passions and personal taste."

5. Buy Black-Owned Beauty Brands

When it comes to social justice, there's additional ways to combat systemic racism in America than taking to the streets. You can also patronize Black-owned businesses. We’ve identified nine Black-owned beauty brands for you to support and follow on social media. Give a gift to your loved one from one of these businesses.


CircleAround is operated by a wholly owned subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA. The site serves adult women nationwide by providing content that is uplifting, thought-provoking, and useful. We make revenue distributions back to GSUSA so they can further their mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

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