Christmas Gifts With "Co-Benefits"
This month is the time of hectic wild goose chases trying to find the proper gifts for friends and family. Some manage long gift wish lists, others just a few, and some don't expect any. And some find the entire process fun while others refer to gifting as another arduous errand. Whether you're one or another, IbN wants to challenge your thoughts and create a dialogue on Christmas gifts.
In a sustainability context, Christmas gifts are a series of balancing acts--from making sure the gift itself is useful to the receiver and that it has relatively low environmental impact, is of great quality, and is affordable.
The consumptive nature of the holidays does not make it easy to reduce one's own environmental footprint. To begin to incorporate a sense of sustainability into gifting this holiday, we put together several themes in which you can focus while in search for presents! Also, these themes make sure you focus more on having fun this holiday season rather than gift shopping.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER. SHARE/GIVE AN EXPERIENCE.
Rather than purchasing an object for a friend or family member, why not share a memorable experience together! This could be a hiking or skiing trip, picnic, theatre tickets, brunch, or dinner party, Maybe there's even a nice or new restaurant in town you might want to try (we sure have a lot of those in Copenhagen!)
TRY AN ANTIQUE STORE
Looking for a more traditional gift? Try an antique store...you never know what you may find! For example, some nice wine glasses, a piece of cool furniture, decor, or art. Be inspired of the person you have in mind, save resources of a new item and reuse!
GROUP TOGETHER TO PITCH IN FOR ONE BIGGER, NICER GIFT
If you have siblings, why not come together and pitch in for a nice gift for Mom, Dad, or other family? This way, the gift can be bigger and worth more.
At your Christmas party, try a gift exchange in which each person contributes one gift and will receive one as well. Save the time of purchasing everyone a gift and focus on having a time filled with hygge.
FOCUS ON SUSTAINABLE NATURAL MATERIALS
Perhaps, that brother or friend could really use a new sweater. Afterall, Copenhagen is getting chillier come January. Therefore, find materials that are natural and sustainable, including sustainable cotton or hemp.
GIVE A SERVICE
Offer to walk someone's dog, make them dinner or clean their windows. Good deeds and hard work can be worth a lot even without spending a single penny. Perhaps don't give the gift of a gym membership because that might send the wrong message....(although one IbN staff member, Michelle, would appreciate that!)
For the foodies and bakers out there, what greater time than Christmas to explore that cake you've wanted to try making all year--the one with the layers or the one with the mousse. Get some gløgg/tea/coffee, take out the flour, whisk/mixer, and cake mold and start baking! We are sure your whole family will embrace your Christmassy cookery skills!
This is the perfect time to get proper creative and share the projects that you anyway love making during the year--or maybe it is time to get experimental and before you know it you have found yourself a new hobby. A knitted wool scarf or socks, crocheted oven mitts, a wooden bird house for the garden or some new illustrations for the wall will give you plenty of points in the family book both for creativity and thoughtfulness.
We want these ideas to create meaningful gifts while saving you trips to the department store this holiday season. Instead, spend more time with family and relaxing at home. The co-benefit?? These gifts also tend to have less environmental footprint and aim to reduce consumption without taking away the holiday spirit.
Feel free to comment and send more ideas our way!