Practical Gift Giving Guide

The Lost Art of Not Giving Crap Presents

Do your Christmases and birthdays revolve around getting and giving plastic, over packaged trinkets and novelty gifts that are enjoyed for less than one hour and then become awkwardly pushed aside, dust collecting reminders of rushed decision making and consumerist manipulation?

Or maybe you’ve been regifted one of these little treasures?

I ask these questions not in judgement, but in awe of how easy it is to get caught up in the hype of the festive season and leave all reason behind.  As much as I love waste less living, reducing waste, talking rubbish and being thrifty and creative, this time of year I feel the pull of buying stuff.  Who doesn’t love showing how much they care by doing nice things for others?  The thing is, doing nice things for others is not the same as buying something, just to give something.  Thinking through the life of the purchase requires a little more in-depth enquiry.

Will this person find this novelty gift funny for years to come? Yes, great get it! No, then maybe just recap what you saw the next time you catch up.

Will this person have space for this gift in their home long term? Yes, fantastic! No, then is there something else consumable that might be more appreciated?

Does this item fit with who this person would like to be?  Yes, fantastic! No, show your support by not making them agonise over wanting to be grateful vs. becoming the person they want to be.

I get that picking out the right gift for someone is hard!  But I also wonder if sometimes we forget to ask, does this person even want a gift from me?  Would they rather my company, a hand with something or just a smile?

So I titled this blog post “Practical Gift Giving Guide” and whilst I think the most practical gift is often nothing at all, here are some other ideas that might relieve the need to give something good:

  • Handmade tea blends: How about pulling together your own blend of herbs and petals that would be most soothing for the person in mind?  Think a combination of lemongrass, peppermint, hibiscus, ginger & cinnamon for an uplifting blend or chamomile, lavender, rose petal, rosemary for a fragrant calming blend.
  • Fragrant bath bags: Much like an oversized tea bag for your bath.  Again, choose your own blend of loose herbal teas plus some Epsom salts and bicarb to relieve tension and soften skin.  Pop it all into a little refillable bag (like our soap nut bags) and you are good to go again and again.
  • Homemade soaps: Palm oil free soaps can be hard to come by, so stocking up for a friend who cares about this topic may be just the treat they were after.

  • Individual chocolate bars and rocky road: If you popped into Wasteless Pantry last week you would have had the opportunity to try out Christmas Bark (white chocolate topped with cranberries and pistachios).  It took me less than 15 minutes to make, was delicious and the combinations are endless!  Just melt chocolate buttons or bits of your choice and top with your friend’s favourite flavours.  Maybe they love dark chocolate topped with pepitas, hemp seeds, goji berries and slivered almonds; or perhaps white chocolate topped with trail mix and chia seeds? Delicious!
  • Reusable items: If you have a friend that is preparing for the Plastic Bag Ban in 2018 or saw the War on Waste and wants to get themselves equip to waste less, how about supporting them.  Think BYO coffee cups, reusable shopping bags in pretty designs, produce bags, reusable baking liners, metal straws or stainless steel drink bottles.  It can be pricey to get yourself kitted out to start with so this type of thing is greatly appreciated.
  • Recipe jars: For that friend who loves the idea of cooking from scratch but finds it tedious to gather the ingredients, show your love by doing it for them (or get us to, we won’t tell on you!) and popping a recipe on the back of the container to make cooking a breeze.

Just a sample of ideas to get you started and you can always pop into Wasteless Pantry to have a chat if you have a very tricky friend to find something for.

You never know what inspiration you might find.

 

Photo credits:

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Photo by Yoori Koo on Unsplash

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