10 alternative Christmas gifts for your loved ones
With the holiday season fast approaching, Christmas anxiety becomes part of the festivities and with it the desperate need to find perfect gifts for our beloved ones. But if we pause and go back to see how this year has been and how the world is doing right now, it would be good to give us each other a hand and make this Christmas a season not only to give to our friends and relatives but maybe give back to the planet.
Here are some great gift ideas that can be fun, alternative and sustainable (and affordable too!). Most of them can be easily made or bought online.
- Cork wallets, bags, cases and purses, suitable for anyone! These are fun and trendy products that are cruelty-free and sustainable, made from recycled materials,100% vegan, so you can feel great when purchasing as no animals were hurt and less waste is going to landfill. Visit By the Sea Collection to find out more.
- A bee and insect house. Pollinators, bees, butterflies and insects play an essential role in our gardens, they transfer pollen from one flower to another, fertilising plants, so they start forming fruits and seeds. Unfortunately, they are under increasing threat due to pesticides, parasites and climate change, so let’s give them a chance this year. Visit The Urban Beehive.
- A gift card from UnitingWorld’s Everything in Common catalogue represents a life-changing project. You can donate starting from $5 up to $500, and you’ll be supporting UnitingWorld and their local partners in the Pacific, Asia and Africa to help lift people out of poverty.
- An Amalur, natural and handcrafter acoustic sound system, made to amplify the sound of your smartphone without electricity consumption, they fit all smartphone models and are battery-free. Ideal for entertaining the whole family, anywhere.
- Buy hampers from Green Giving Co., 100% vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and cruelty-free. A plant-based diet is more environmentally friendly and much better for your health. All of their products and packaging are Australian made or ethically sourced from local businesses, minimising the carbon footprint. Plus, for every gift hamper purchased a native tree is established in regional Australia on your behalf.
- A small tree or plant from Growing Gifts is a perfect gift for the occasion. Planting is a powerful act that represents life, hope, growth and continuity, and it gives back to the earth.
- An experience gift can be easy to arrange, thoughtful, and rewarding to both giver and receiver. Going to the movies as a family, taking a painting class, making pottery, or learning to cook are priceless memories or skills that last a lifetime. A good and diverse option is Red Ballon.
- Christmas presents mean so much more when they’re homemade. Your friends and family know you spent a little more time on them, and that thoughtfulness is always appreciated. There are many ideas and blogs online, so if you are running out of imagination but trust your skills, just give it a try.
- Help launch a mobile tech bus to create jobs for the most marginalised refugees on the US-Mexico border right where they are. They’ll gain vital tech skills and a chance to work. You can donate once or every month. Find out more about Preemptive Love and what they are doing worldwide to unmake violence and create the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
- This is one of my favourite ideas and the most challenging one: “adopt a family”, think of a family you know or look for one that has had a rough year, one that might be in need for company or that can’t afford to celebrate Christmas as we all love to and celebrate with them, buy them presents, share your meal, make them forget their problems and feel grateful again.
If you still think you want to give something else, something that can make an impact now, and not to anyone in particular but to many that are struggling at the moment, please contribute to Moderator’s Bushfire Appeal. The Moderator’s Appeal distributes funds where they are most needed, particularly where weather events are leaving communities devastated by drought, fires and floods. To find out more and how to contribute please click here.
Hope this guide encourages you to experience the festivities in a more responsible manner and that each year, we can all spread the joy more aware of where we are and what humanity means.