Christmas, the time for scrummy wine and food, social gatherings, glittering decorations, and of course presents. Like many other children, when I was younger I barely slept a wink on Christmas, thoughts of what lay under the tree and where Father Christmas was at that very moment spun more ferociously in my head than a Turkish Sufi whirling dancer. According to a 2013 YouGov spending intentions survey, people are planning to spend on average £822 celebrating Christmas. This breaks down to £599 on presents, £180 on food and drink and £43 on cards, decorations and Christmas trees (YouGov).
I am no Scrooge, I love having the added incentive to see friends and family, imbibing good food and dressing in my glad rags but the festive season also results in a lot of waste. £250 million is wasted on purchasing gift cards which do not get used (BBC News), not all of these are bought at Christmas but the majority must be. This year, avoid throwing your hard earned money down the cavernous mouths of the high street, give twice, or even more. By thinking a little more about what we give and how we spend we can give more than to just the receiver.
Below are some of the many stylish options which give more than once that have caught my eye so far. I show how many times you are giving by purchasing each product so you can inwardly, or outwardly, glow this year with festive cheer. I challenge you to find other, bigger and better, gifting options, please post any gems below for us all to keep giving. Happy consuming!
Aveda’s Christmas gift set £32
Gift 1: The Winter weather is harsh on our skin, so we should nourish our loved ones with this body cleanser and lotion
Gift 2: You won’t have to put up with rough skin on yours if your loved ones’ skin is kept soothed.
Gift 3: It comes wrapped in paper made by a Nepalese cooperative in the Himalayas
Gift 4: Money from this purchase goes towards preserving 34,000 acres of forest to combat climate change
Hand knitted Rhianna, Adele, the Queen Coco Chanel (and more) dolls £85
Gift 1: For the fashionista who has it all
Gift 2: The Balinese factory which supports a whole village of local women, allowing them to save money and attend university
Bracelet for Food £75
Links of have joined with Feed Projects to create a collection of bracelets which help children fight starvation, malnutrition and dehydration.
Gift 1: A cool, rock star-esque piece of jewellery for the receiver
Gift 2-76+: 75 school children in areas of conflict will receive meals in exchange for this bracelet of sterling silver birds nestled together on fine interwoven brown and gold threads. Stunning on its own or wear it with others in the collection to complete your look and provide even more children with meals.
Kids Clothes by Kids £12-18
Kidz Company provides practical, emotional and educational support to over 36,000 vulnerable inner city children and young people. John Lewis, the practical home stalwart has pulled a cracker out of Santa’s bag with this exclusive range of children’s clothes designed by kids in Kidz Company’s Urban Academy. The John Lewis and Kids Company teams ran art workshops in inner city schools where the children had the opportunity to create their own designs, utilising the colours and themes for the season. “Their passion and enthusiasm for the project is evident in the magical products that they have helped to produce.”
Gift 1: Add some seasonal cheer to the little ones in your life with these playful jumpers and onesies made from 100% cotton
Gift 2: 10% of the selling price goes back to the charity and the children involved in this special project
Wrap Up £2.50
In 2011 Britain threw away 226,800 miles of wrapping paper after Christmas! (The Telegraph) Be novel and create excitement with these vintage ‘knot-wraps’. Re-wrap are a not-for-profit organisation launched in the UK in November 2009 with a mission to ensure that the craftsmen and women of India can sustain their families through fair wages and work in a clean, safe and healthy environment. Re-wrap works with co-ops that share their commitment to help specific segments of society: those most vulnerable, single household women, physically or mentally disabled people and tribal communities
Gift 1: The receiver will have a fresh challenge to opening your gift. The beauty of these vintage materials is that there is a design for all ages, men and women. Scarf designs are varied, such as floral, geometric, animals, polka dots and cityscapes. Within these designs there are different era styles for any time of year.
Gift 2: This is a two in one present as after the present is revealed the material can be reused in a number of ways; scarf, bandana, handkerchief, wrapping paper anyone?