Christmas is just around the corner... and with that we will soon see a plethora of social media posts and high street stores urging us to buy. Yet, maybe this year, you may want to consider gifting something more thoughtful, personal, and unique. Gifts which are much more, sustainable, or ethical. If this sounds like an interesting concept, well, you’re in good hands. Here is our selection of original and sustainable gifts to suit all ages and budgets.
Why give meaningful gifts?
More and more people are starting to think differently when it comes to gifting, mainly because we are all looking to be more eco-conscious. Others are questioning, or even challenging, consumer habits and its many environmental consequences. Unfortunately for the planet, this phenomenon is amplified during the holidays with huge purchases and deliveries from the other side of the planet, and so on…
Many ideas come to mind when thinking about ethical approaches to gifting such as Do it Yourself, personalised gifts to purchasing preloved or second-hand items.
By giving meaningful gifts, we discover the true meaning behind the Holidays. It is not the quantity, nor the price that makes a gift a great gift – but more, so the effort put in, to make someone else happy. Well beyond the commercial value, giving a gift is a way to show our love towards others and to create cheerful memories together.
An inspiring list of thoughtful gifts
1. A Christmas gift you can make
Giving something handmade is a personalised gift that can mean more than some items bought in-store. Here are some ideas depending on your relationship, skill set and time:
- Knit a scarf! – something made with love. You can also opt for a rare or high-quality material such as organic wool.
- Why not personalise a pouch, a pencil case, or a tote bag, by adding an embroidered message? Maybe also add an eco-conscious dimension to this meaningful gift, by offering an alternative to disposable products: washable wipes, reusable paper towels... The ideas are limitless.
- If Do-It-Yourself projects are not something you are comfortable with, choose a photo and add to a beautiful frame. A Beautiful memory to share with someone special.
- Lastly, for food lovers, why not make homemade goodies and arrange it as a food hamper with homemade Christmas biscuits and chutney. Only you will know the secret recipe.
Think about using Pinterest to dig up lots of ideas!
2. A useful gift for the home
We do think that a useful gift is much better than a gift that will end up in a wardrobe or worse in the bin. It's also a nice incentive to give to people who want to adopt new habits (e.g. healthier lifestyle, new eating habits, zero waste lifestyle):
- A classic: the reusable water bottle with personalisation – This can be a name, a nickname or an endearing word that will be meaningful to your loved ones.
- A set of cute glass jars for delicious puddings for breakfast or dessert. For storing leftovers in the fridge, or simply for your cupboard organisation.
- A "slow coffee" maker because a good coffee can make a real difference during the day.
- A kitchen robot to encourage homemade & healthy cooking by being practical and efficient. There are thousands of them, some of them can make pasta, cut veggies into small pieces or even make juices.
For gifts that make sense, consider buying local too. Second-hand tableware is an eco-conscious alternative.
4. An anti-stress gift
The Magic of Christmas can make us forget of our little worries – meaningful gifts are also those that allow your loved ones to return to a stress-free daily routine or to a truly restful sleep. With New Year's resolutions coming up, it's time to try out some alternative methods in order to reconnect with ourselves:
- Offer a yoga experience through workshops,
- Get an essential oil diffuser to clean the air but also take advantage of the different properties the plants used can offer and learn about aromatherapy.
- Try a meditation and relaxation device : The non-digital Morphée helps you through different types of meditation sessions to help you to calm your muscles, detract your mind from negative thinking and ultimately help you to relax and sleep better.
5. Offer a memorable experience
When we talk about meaningful gifts, it's not only about offering materialistic gifts, but it's also about spending a close moment with our family, friends, or simply the people we care about.
It's possible to spoil your loved ones by offering them a unique experience to share with a partner, a relative, or friend. On top of the pleasure provided by the thoughtful gesture, a new future memory will also be created.
- A romantic weekend getaway – It's a simple idea but an amazing one! How many times have we heard our loved ones wanting to but complaining about having no time to organise their dream weekend? Well, here’s your chance to make that a reality with this very thoughtful gift idea.
- For the adventurous- get an adrenaline-seeker a skydiving trip or an escape room game experience.
- "To be or not to be? That is the question" – Why not buy tickets to go see a play, a musical, or a stand-up comedy show.
- Learn something new – Nowadays, there are plenty of courses or workshops that can be found on sites such as Eventbrite or Obby to only name a few. You can pick from learning how to make your own beer or own terrarium. You can dance away with an introduction to Peruvian dance, or express your inner Bob Ross if art is your thing.
- For bookworms, a subscription to Audible or any audiobook platforms can be a nice way for them to enjoy more titles from their favourite authors.
Offer an experience to share... or not!
What if you give a loved one some self-care time? Gift your best friend a treatment at a spa and while you’re at it, why not offer to babysit and look after her/his children while they unwind and relax, you’re guaranteed to make someone happy!
6. A gift that goes beyond
Doing a good deed is within the spirit of Christmas! Tis the season for gifts with a true meaning, think about a “Good Deed or a Charitable contribution. It's a commitment yes, but there are so many projects that you can get involved in for lots of different causes. You are bound to find one which resonates with you. Here is one that comes to mind, but you can find an array of them out there.
Sponsor a beehive – several organisations and independent beekeepers offer this system which allows you to buy jars of honey (You can even personalise them) while also supporting the bees. A part of the proceeds is used to financially help the beekeepers. In addition to your jars of honey, you will also receive a certificate of sponsorship with regular photos, news & updates. You may even be lucky enough to receive an invitation to meet the bees.
To wrap your gifts, also think about zero waste reusable gift paper. Learn about the furoshiki technique.
Gifts that make sense for children
Children too, are entitled to sustainable gifts. It’s a good way to make them aware of the current global Green issues, by explaining to them about the choices placed under the Christmas tree.
- Choose toys that are both healthy and Eco friendly. Look to make an informed decision by considering factors such as the country of production, the materials used, if it’s timeless or has eco-labels.
- Opt for gifts that take them away from screens and help them disconnect such as: giant colouring books, story boxes like My Little Morphée to help them fall asleep and return to calm.
- Shop second-hand entertainment like boardgames, jigsaws Etc.. From our experience, children don’t always see the difference between brand-new or already used toys, they will just see simply see a new toy to play with.
And there you have it, even if you're into last minute gifts you'll be ready in time for Christmas and have something to put under the tree!