All photos:  (c) Elena Galey-Pride


« Adding a 6th H to "5H Giving" - Habit »

What a wonderful Christmas! Great times with family and friends, and so gratifying to see the enthusiasm for my 5H gifts. It has also been very heart-warming to see and feel the enthusiasm for my little 5H idea - expressed for the first time only about a month ago. I know that this is because what 5H is based on aren't new ideas, and they certainly are widespread - just not as widespread as many of us would like them to be! We are still reading and hearing far more Christmas shopping horror stories of conspicuous consumption, greediness and selfishness than of conscious consumption, thoughtfulness and selflessness. But WE know the great stories are there too, don't we? And they need to be shared for the inspiration they can bring. 

That's why there is now a Facebook page for 5H Giving - so that we can share ideas and success stories, and to support each other in our 5H efforts. Thanks to all of you who helped our "likes" to shoot up to 200 in just a couple of days, and those who have helped the steady climb to our current 256. 256 people in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Malaysia and fourteen other countries!

I'm very grateful to those of you have have helped to share the word(s) through Twitter, Facebook, blogs and traditional media. I would like to take a second to acknowledge Cathy Berkhout-Bosse (, Martha Muzychka (St. John's Telegram), John Gushue, Sherry Galey (Still and All), Nadine Janzen (Local Lux), Bethany Harpur (Second Ferment) and Melinda Cheevers (Niagara This Week) for their stories, blogs and social media support. And of course, the multi-talented Laura Wills for creating our lovely little 5H visual elements that are so very share-able. 

And the sharing must go on.

I'm well aware that the pre-Christmas shopping frenzy is a big part of what gave the 5H message some of its punch in December. It was topical and timely. But Christmas is now over (although Boxing Day madness continues!) and a New Year is in sight. 

So today, I want to introduce another H - Habit. We all need to consider the 5Hs all year round, whenever gift-giving opportunities arise. Thinking in terms of Homemade, Handmade, Healthy, Helpful and From Here needs to become our Habit.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself year-round, to help the 5H practice become a Habit:

Homemade: What can I make myself? What skill/passion can I share? How can I express my feelings for the gift recipient through the dedication of my time? 

Handmade: What can I buy that will help to support an artisan in their artistic pursuits? What can I bring home from wherever I visit that is handmade by the locals and is a unique expression of that place? 

Healthy: What can I give that is health-promoting? Can I upcycle, recycle or reuse items to keep them out of the waste stream? Or can I reduce - eschew over-packaged goods and gift-wrap creatively? 

Helpful: Who can I help with the purchase of this gift? Is there a secondary, or even primary, beneficiary besides the gift recipient? Is this item created and sold within a fair trade environment? 

From Here: Was this item grown or made locally - or at least as close to home as possible? Am I patronizing locally-owned stores and service providers? Am I supporting local talent? 

If you are already very good and practiced at one of the Hs, why not focus some attention on the others? Can you combine your skill at making things yourself (Homemade) with, say, Healthy - by reusing or upcycling materials? A really easy combo is to acquire your Handmade gifts From Here - buying them from local artisans or local shopkeepers. A nice gift idea that I found this year was from Sparks of Grace - postcards made from Sherry Galey's photography (Handmade) where the proceeds go to the Hospice project in Almonte, Ontario (Helpful). 

While, by definition, a gift that encompasses all 5 Hs is virtually impossible, a multiple H rating of two, three or four is a goal worth shooting for! 

If you haven't already, please consider liking the 5H Giving Facebook page, following @5HGiving on Twitter and using these places to share your ideas, successes and support for these concepts.

Make 5H your Habit for 2013 - one resolution you will enjoy keeping!  


Previous 5H blogs:  Nov. 24, 2012  Dec. 17, 2012 



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