A gift registry for people who don't want stuff

SoKind Registry photo
Video screen capture SoKind Registry

From the plenitude economy to a holiday survival kit, the Center for a New American Dream has long been at the forefront of the notion that more stuff doesn't necessarily mean more happiness.

Now, based on their original Alternative Gift Registry, they are launching SoKind, a new and improved gift registry aimed firmly at those who value experiences over material goods, handmade crafts over mass-produced gadgets, and gently used and carefully selected pre-loved goods over things they'll probably use once and never see again. The registry includes photo uploading, customizable backgrounds, gift categories, automatic email notifications and other features that should help it compete with the big box stores.

As someone whose just been discussing charity donations as an alternative strategy for holiday gifts with my family, to generally popular reception, I suspect there are more of us than we might think who—given the chance—would prefer our friends and family spend time, thought and love on selecting a gift for us—but that doesn't have to mean money and stuff.

Here's how the folks at SoKind put it:

Today’s gift-giving culture has become ever more commercialized, fueled by ads, fads, and glitz. Here at SoKind, we know that your favorite gifts don’t always fit in a box. SoKind allows you to create a registry focused less on stuff and more on family, fun, and friends.

So go ahead, be creative. What gifts do you truly want? Music lessons? Homemade dinners? A museum membership? Babysitting help? Donations to your favorite charity? Through SoKind, you can register for gifts of time, experience, and skill, as well as traditional material gifts and secondhand items. The registry is entirely customizable, so the possibilities are endless!

Here's a promotional video explaining what it's all about. For folks who are breaking the mold of what a gift registry should feel like, and who have previously created some of the best videos out there about alternative visions of what prosperity truly looks like, I'm a little saddened by the tone of this video. It plays like a standard, somewhat cheesy commercial.

But maybe that's what it takes to sell living with less to the mainstream.

Tags: Living With Less | Weddings

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