The city is adorned with lights, the weather is getting colder and Christmas carols are playing on the radio – meanwhile, children are begging for brand-new toys, parents are mailing cards to people they barely speak to other and sales are on.
As you’ve probably guessed where this was going, Christmas is considered the most wasteful time of the year.
Surely we have all received those gifts that we simply did not need or even want. Year after year, we end up with a lot of useless gifts – some simply given out of politeness – taking up space in our homes, which then go to create even more waste.
Making a gift, offering memories or supporting meaningful causes demonstrates that you have put thought and time into the gift, rather than heading to the holiday sales in hope of finding something they may like.
Christmas or birthdays or any other type of celebration that typically requires gifts, is supposed to be about make others happy, not about the amount you spent, brand names or how large they are.
Here are some gift ideas that are not necessarily ‘things’ that can be kept forever:
1. Gift Experiences
People remember the best holiday they have had or their most romantic dinner date, not the ‘best piece of clothing ever‘.
Experiences could be:
-Spa days for those needing some TLC
-Sporting event tickets
-Scuba diving classes for certification for those longing to explore the ocean
-Eating out at a restaurant they have been waiting to try
-Wine tasting for those that enjoy the different aromas and flavours
-Certificate for a hotel stay
You can offer them a subscription to Netflix, for those that enjoy watching documentaries, tv shows or movies.
To Business of Fashion, for those interested in fashion.
To the New York Times.
This could also be a gym membership, membership to the local park or even Amazon Prime for the purchase they were going to make anyways
3. Educational experiences
These could be cooking classes, yoga lessons or even dance classes. The point is for them to learn a new skill and enjoy it!
Depending on the person, perhaps an online course is a better option. Udemy offers high quality online courses in almost anything they could be interested in, but of course you have got to pay.
Surely these would be more beneficial than a random perfume you picked up.
4. Gift your time and skills
Depending on your skillset or profession, perhaps you can gift this to your loved ones who will benefit from it most.
If you are a chef, teach them how to make their favourite dishes.
If you know how to salsa really well, teach them.
…I think you get the point now but this is such an underrated gift, especially if you have a high value skill set.
5. Support a cause, charity or community project
Donating money in their name, to support a cause that is close to them, can be heartwarming.
In fact, every month I donate to The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.
If you would rather see exactly where your money is going to, find a local community project they would be interested in supporting.
6. Grow a plant
Depending on how much of a green-thumb you are, you can either plant your own tree, herbs, fruit, whatever they may fancy.
This requires preparation beforehand, depending on what you’re growing so bear that in mind.
Otherwise, you can donate money to have a tree planted in their name here; this will help regrow the forest and enhance the local habitat, enticing animals to return to the area.
Either way, you are contributing to a world with more oxygen and less carbon dioxide!
7. Make or bake gifts
Yes, these are things, will be gone once consumed and some will be reused for years.
Whether it is baking their favourite brownies, making an organic deodorant or making beeswax wrap, taking the time out to make a gift for someone is always a special thing and one that cannot be forgotten.
Check out Family Naturally’s step by step guide to making beeswax wrap here.
8. Ask them what they want
If you don’t know them too well and would rather have your money well spent and appreciated, ask them what they were hoping for.