For Christmas this year, I would love some gift ideas. It’s always so hard to find the perfect gift for people. I get my parents the same thing every year, so I really need to do something different, my boyfriend is so difficult to get gifts for and once again, I can’t afford to splash out on a fancy gift for everyone. How can I get all of them a meaningful gift without spending every penny in my bank account? I’m also trying to do more sustainable gift-giving this year because Christmas isn’t exactly a friendly holiday to the environment and no amount of sparkly wrapping paper and next-day Amazon delivery is worth doing more harm to the rain forest, the polar bears and all the rest of the natural world at risk because of the climate crisis.
I’m not asking for gifts for myself … I’m asking for help because I NEED IT!!
I don’t know how many of you share this sentiment with me, but gift-giving at Christmas might be one of the most stressful aspects of the holiday. Now that December has well and truly begun, I have a feeling Christmas shopping is relatively high up on people’s lists of priorities because there is nothing worse than leaving it for the last minute and having to regift half the things in your bedroom or resorting to sending everyone a card and little e-voucher via email.
The other problem is that it can be so hard to find the right gifts for people. Believe me – I know the pains of trying to pick the perfect present for someone without making yourself bankrupt in the process. It’s such a stressful process – I don’t know how everyone does it without having a nervous breakdown … Or are people just better at hiding their Christmas gift related panic attacks than me?
Another thing that’s important to consider when doing gift shopping is the environment. It’s so vital for us to consider our impact on wildlife and the environment, especially now when we can clearly see the devastating effect of human activity on the natural world. Over the last two years, becoming more eco-friendly and having a more sustainable lifestyle has been really important to me. One of the things I’ve learnt is that there are more areas than you think where you can make more eco-friendly choices. Christmas gift-giving is a perfect example!! So today, in honour of the polar bears (and all the other wildlife creatures with their homes under threat), I’m going to be sharing the sustainable version of my gift-giving guide!
Less is more
This is such great advice in so many different circumstances, including gifting, believe it or not. Sometimes we can get wrapped up in getting lots of gifts for people to show how much we care but sometimes buying a small, meaningful gift can be so much better (plus it is more eco-friendly). Instead of buying a few different items, why not try to choose one slightly more expensive option that is truly special.
Shop wisely – local and independent.
Instead of opting for a big chain store, why not see if you can find something made locally? Not only does this reduce the impact on the environment from shipping etc., but you are also supporting local businesses. Sometimes buying things locally or from a small, independent business usually mean they are more ethically made too, which is a bonus. So, if you have a gift idea in mind, why not do a quick google search to see if there’s an option made locally? Or, just head on over to Etsy for some inspiration (I know there are mixed views on Etsy but it is supporting small, independent businesses and more often than not they are sustainable, eco-friendly and cruelty-free gifts too).
With gifting, not only does buying the gift create waste, but we also need to wrap them, which makes more waste. Opt for more sustainable gift-wrapping this year instead of plastic-based wrapping and sellotape. You can wrap the present in a scarf, or piece of fabric, use recycled paper or keep your wrapping paper together using a ribbon. Reuse old gift bags, give the gift in a reusable bag they can use elsewhere or don’t even wrap it. There are so many options, and it’s all about what’s inside that really matters – not how it’s wrapped.
Give an experience
Experiences are a great choice for an eco-friendly gift, especially if you’re stuck in terms of ideas. Plus, experiences often end up being more enjoyable and memorable than an object you bought just because. Think about the person you’re giving it to, and think of an experience you think they would enjoy (this could be a spa voucher, a trip somewhere or even family tickets to something they enjoy). Another thing you could do is give them your time (like cooking dinner, pet-sitting or baby-sitting or doing some chores) so that they have more time to do the things they love.
Make it yourself
There’s just something about homemade that screams special – I think it’s because making something from scratch takes more effort than buying something from a store. It’s also very personal because it’s hard to make something that isn’t personal in some way. If you’re a whizz at crafts or sewing, there are so many different options for you (cushion covers, scarfs, bags, etc.). You could also make something edible (which is often cheaper than buying something) and those are always fun to do and certainly always appreciated.
That dreaded word … regifting … Now I know there is a lot of debate when it comes to regifting because it’s considered tacky but why is that?? It’s because society said it was, and shops would definitely prefer you to go and buy something new instead of regifting. My logic about regifting is that if it could be something that someone else would enjoy more/get more use out of, then that is definitely better than it sitting at the bottom of your cupboard. By regifting, you’re reducing clutter, saving money and reducing waste. You could also upcycle something to make it like a brand-new personalised gift, or buy something second hand (again, there seems to be an issue with this when there shouldn’t be) because at the end of the day, it’s the thought behind the gift that counts and if you know someone would genuinely enjoy it and get some use out of it, does it matter if it’s regifted or second-hand?
A few more eco-friendly, sustainable gift ideas for you:
- Give a voucher/certificate to their favourite restaurant/tea or coffee place, tickets to their favourite show or a ticket/membership to something they love (movies, spa voucher, local museum/park/botanical gardens etc.)
- Seed-starter kit for anyone who loves gardening
- An eco-friendly starter kit (you can include things like a water bottle, reusable coffee mug, a bamboo toothbrush, reusable/cruelty-free/eco-friendly beauty products, bamboo kitchen essentials – the list goes on! You can create a small little pack for any friend who you know wants to be more eco-friendly but hasn’t had the chance. Be sure to give it all in a reusable bag though!)
- Subscription boxes (there are eco-friendly ones!)
- Plants (instead of flowers, how about a succulent, or a sapling that they can grow)
- Donate to charity/’adopt’ a wild animal (if there is a cause they are passionate about, why not donate to that charity? Another fantastic idea I have seen on Facebook is through WWF – you can ‘adopt’ an animal to support in the wild for as little as £3 a month, and it makes a fantastic gift for animal lovers)
And so there you have it! Gift-giving can be challenging. Unbelievably hard. It could be a Herculean task for how challenging it can sometimes be. But, I hope that this blog post has made gift-giving a little bit easier for you this year. Just remember, when all is said and done, it’s the thought that counts the most when it comes to a gift, not how sparkly it is or how much it cost. Sometimes just a card with a heartfelt message can mean more than the most elaborate gift.
Anywho, I hope you all enjoyed this post and have been enjoying Blogmas so far. I also hope that this post has inspired you about the small things we can do to be more eco-friendly. It’s the little things we do every day (like thinking of more environmentally-friendly wrapping paper, or buying a gift from a small local shop instead of on Amazon) that will help us save the planet and hopefully all the fantastic creatures on it (and ourselves too … just putting it out there).
How is your Christmas shopping going this year? Have you found the perfect gifts for anyone? Are there any sustainable gift-giving tips you know of that you think I’ve missed out? Do you have any ideas for great eco-friendly gifts to give? And of course – how are you enjoying Blogmas so far?? Be sure to let me know in the comments section so we can chat!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx
For those of you who are interested, you can click here to see my gift-giving guide from last year.
Also, if you haven’t seen the earlier Blogmas posts, you can check them out below!