Tearfund sent this email out to subscribers to their Ethical Fashion newsletter. We liked it so much we got permission to republish it on our website:
If you’ve ever read ‘Little House on the Prairie’, you’ll know how minimalistic Christmas shopping was in the Ingalls household. I can still recall my shock reading about the terrible gifts (or so I thought at the time) given to the kids by their parents – an orange, and a penny. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve realised they were onto a good thing. I’m a big fan of Christmas. I love the food, the smell of pine and the excuse to watch Love Actually three times a week. But the festive season also comes with things I don’t love – overcrowded malls, overspending, and the over-accumulation of needless stuff – and we all need a little help breaking free from it.
That’s why I’m sharing with you my top five tips for better giving this Christmas.
As Christmas zooms around the corner faster than you can say Cindy Lou, it’s important we spend time thinking about the impact Christmas has on those around us and the world we live in – the money spent, the waste generated, the time we lose worrying about things instead of caring for people… and don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying it has to be all oranges and pennies. But there’s a few ways we can make this festive season a little less consumeristic, and a little more meaningful, like the Ingalls knew how to do so well.
Here are my top five tips for better giving this Christmas:
1. Get your DIY on
I’m a big fan of receiving a hand-made gift. Sure, it can be a bit of a time investment but it’s also a great way of making someone feel loved and known. If you’re stuck for ideas, edible treats are a great place to start. After all, who doesn’t love receiving a decadent little morsel?! Try pistachio shortbread, almond biscotti or a classic chocolate fudge brownie, wrap it up in some crisp brown paper and voila! Christmas happiness.
2. Buy with a greater purpose
Buy with a greater purpose by shopping somewhere ethical this Christmas. Trade Aid is the perfect place to start. Every product has a story, and you can rest assured the people who made that gift were paid fairly for their work. If edibles are on your list, Trade Aid chocolate is among the best, and treating yourself to one should be on your list too! Or if you’re wanting to treat someone’s wardrobe, consult your 2018 Ethical Fashion Guide to discover the most ethical places to shop.
3. Go sustainable
Another great gift idea is a reusable item. How about a funky tote to keep in the handbag for impromptu supermarket trips, or an adorable looking keep-cup? Handy hint: Some cafes even give discounts for bringing your own cup. Plus, the receiver of the gift will think of you every time they’re drinking their morning coffee. What more could you want?
4. Gift your time
Not all gifts require you to spend money. In fact, one of the best gifts you can give is your time. Why not make a voucher entitling someone to some good old-fashioned quality time, present it to them in an artistic way, and lock in a date? It’s the perfect way to make your loved one feel valued and special this Christmas!
5. Gift for Life
For the gift that is both meaningful and unique, make a donation to a not-for-profit on behalf of your loved one. Tearfund's Gift for Life offers so many different gifts to choose from (did someone say goat?) so you can pick something that is relevant to the person you are buying for, and gift it to a vulnerable family in the developing world in that person’s honour.
Thank you Tearfund for some good advice! Of course from Banzaid we want to add Marketplacers to the list for Buying With Greater Purpose! Marketplacers products are ethically sourced gifts that make a real difference, whether you are looking at clothing, bags, leather goods or stationery.