I've successfully navigated another Birthday Season on The Compact.
March is Birthday Heavy in my world. A lot of friends and acquaintances were born in March, and my husband, my brother, and my father all have birthdays within a week of one another. And those are birthdays that require acknowledgement. It was no problem to do it without breaking The Compact.
For my husband, I baked him the cake pictured above. It was a new recipe, a "mocha" cake from scratch. I frosted it with storebought Pillsbury milk chocolate frosting, because that's what he likes. The cake was really moist and delicious, and he ate it three days in a row with coffee for breakfast. I also came home with a blue streak in my hair, which I have yet to get a photo of, but I'll post one soon, I promise. He loved it! He was really surprised that I did it, and I actually kind of like it. We also went out to our favorite French restaurant which is right down the street. It's a bit of a splurge, but it was delicious as always. The whole celebration was tres non-consumer.
For my brother, I bought him a gift card to a brewery that he'd been wanting to visit in Portland, where he lives. They have sample platters and at least twelve different beers on tap every day. The subject line in his thank you email was "I love it!" I knew it would be a hit.
For my dad, I gave him a gift certificate for two "wine flights" at a restaurant where he and my mom can go and watch the sunset and enjoy a wine tasting. It's a place they like, but don't often treat themselves to anymore.
I haven't had any problem thinking of great gifts while being on The Compact. I love to receive experiential gifts, and I think most people do as well.
What are your favorite non-consumer gifts? Please leave your ideas in the Comments section.