Once again that time of year is upon us again. I love this time of year when the cold weather has set in, everyone is feeling festive and in Leicester, where I live, we also have big Diwali celebrations which makes the city even brighter and more vibrant than normal. What’s not to love? Time to be with family and friends, decorating the house, giving gifts and time off work!
Unfortunately, there is a darker side. Commercialisation of the season lures more and more people into buying throw-away gifts, tat and cheap items. This is not sustainable at all and is a sad state of affairs when you see headlines like this: “Brits spend more than £200,000 a minute on Christmas presents“. I’m not going to go on about the true meaning of Christmas but really we ought to step back and think about what we are buying and how it affects the environment to the people on the production line as well as who we are buying for. Does your mum really want another body wash set? and does your nephew really need another plastic action figure to add to the hundred other ones?
With this in mind I always try to put together gifts which are actually appreciated rather than little gimmicks. Here are my top suggestions for present giving this year:
Homemade is always appreciated. It’s personal, heart-felt and actual effort has been put into it rather than just a few clicks online and wait for it to come through the post. If you don’t know what to get the person who has everything then always go for homemade goodies!
Personalised gifts mean so much more than ten-a-penny gifts from the shops. I found these adorable wooden tools for my nephew on Etsy.
Always buy local where you can. Etsy is great for this. But also look around local independent shops. I found this local history calendar for Granddad in our hospice charity shop.
If you have to buy online why not buy something which helps others too. Most major charities have online shops such as Oxfam, Amnesty International, Trade Craft, Woodland Trust. There is something for everyone. Of course a lot of charities have shops in town too which have a good range. (And I always buy my Christmas Cards from charity shops because if you’re intending to buy pieces of card which immediately go into the recycling come January 1st then the money might as well go to charity!)
I bought this book (which can be purchased in lots of non-charitable shops) for my sister from Amnesty International.