Christmas* in June: A Gentle Nudge to Help You Start Planning Your Alternative Gift Fair Now

by Shara Drew   |   June 13, 2018

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(*or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or any year-end holiday you might celebrate.) 

This summer, as part of our Community in Action Challenge, join fellow New Dreamers who are taking advantage of the special energy and inspiration many of us experience during the summer months to set the stage for a more meaningful holiday season. Be part of the national network that will put a whole lot of good into the world this year by organizing an Alternative Gift Fair in your area.

What’s an Alternative Gift Fair? 

Held in November or December, an Alternative Gift Fair is a holiday event that builds community while raising awareness and funds for causes you care about. A “Share Fair” is another version, where community members share secondhand goods or skills. These events are a way to preserve and promote the gift-giving tradition of the holiday season without the wastefulness and commercialization of conventional shopping.

An Alternative Gift Fair can be large or small, and customized to be just right for your community and whatever your capacity might be to lead the planning process. Here are just a few examples of Alternative Gift Fairs:

  • A lively public event, with food and music, where guests’ “shopping list” includes non-material items offered by 30 participating charitable organizations, as well as local, handmade, and fair trade gift offerings.
  • An intimate community event, where each participant brings three gently loved items and trades these for three previously owned items they’d like to give as a gift, while connecting with fellow swappers.
  • A neighborhood event, where a host invites friends and neighbors over for light food and drink, while showcasing and encouraging gifts of charitable contributions to organizations that matter to them—like a tupperware party gone right!

Whatever type of event you imagine, and whether you’ve got one hour a month or hours each week to devote, you can make a major impact this fall and help your friends and neighbors reclaim the holidays as a time filled with gifts of togetherness, joy, meaning, service, and generosity. 

How to Plan

Here are some tips for planning an alternative gift fair in your town, at your school or on your campus, or at your workplace. 

  1. Sign up for the Community in Action “Simplify Your Holidays” Challenge (be sure to select the “EXTRA Challenge”).
  2. Browse New Dream’s Alternative Gift Fairs 101 including our step-by-step guide, how-to webinar, and our newly released follow-up Q&A webinar.

Email us at with “Alternative Gift Fair in (City, State)” and let us know what you’re planning and how we can help!

Photo credit: Jennifer Foster