Our ‘Other Thinking’ Gift Ideas

Photo credit: Caley Dimmock

The festive season rush is on. Again. But how many gifts are wasted? Random. Unappreciated. Unwished for. Totally unloved.

Our exquisite planet is buckling under the weight of our everyday demands. Buckling. And this festive season rush? It’s total frikkin’ madness. But when we put a little thought into it, there are so many other ways to give …

… and these are some of our favourite ideas from our ‘collective she’.

Zara loves the idea of gifts already given. She spends months roaming around her favourite local charity stores, looking for quirky and unusual gifts that she knows will be loved. ‘Just buying a gift in support of a charity is a gift already given to someone unknown, someone unseen, and that’s what I think I love about it most. It’s a gift given twice.’

Louise’s new mission is the experience. Instead of giving ‘stuff that will inevitably land up as junk in the ocean’, she gives moments. Concert tickets, massages, art classes, surfing lessons, dinners, outdoor experiences, ‘anything that is a moment to live for’ she says.

Kaz went homemade all the way one year. And she says it was an amazing success. Everyone got a Christmas stocking (which was actually a sock – a luxury sock, that is) which was stuffed with gifts everybody made with their own hands. Baked goodies, beauty products, crafts, ombre tote bags … everybody got to shine through and surprise everyone else with their hidden skills. And, of course, at the bottom of every sock was … the other luxury sock. ‘It was actually a really fun Christmas,’ she says.

Bronwyn says her go-to gifts are natural. Like a plant from the nursery for a garden, a succulent for an office desk, or something made from natural or recycled materials. These are normally pretty inexpensive, so they’re great for the budget too. ‘I always try to buy handmade first (that allows you to support local artists too) and sometimes even make it myself. Last year’s gifts for the kids were blocks made from wood offcuts from a local carpenter that we sanded and painted – they are the only toys from last year that the kids still play with … and they were eco-friendly and cheap to boot!’

Bali’s idea this year is simple: music. Digital music to be more specific. ‘Everyone loves music, so I buy digital vouchers for digital music with digital money … no paper, no plastic, no waste, and everybody’s happy.’

Sabine’s thinking of using this festive season to introduce her favourite people to some of her favourite products in plastic-free living. ‘I haven’t thought it through properly yet, but I do know that I’m definitely gifting some shampoo soap bars. They are so divine, so luxurious, and so much kinder to our planet. Not everyone will give something like shampoo soap bars a try, but those who do never switch back. That’s a win/win for me.’

Apart from that, think about growing your own Christmas trees, sending e-cards, going organic, wrapping gifts in reusable bags … or even scarves … and donating your time and love and skills to the cause that beats in your heart.

Read next: Buy The Change You Want To See In The World