I can’t believe Christmas has crept up so quickly, I know this happens every year but it somehow still always surprises me! I didn’t get a chance to create a gift guide of my favourite independent sellers and most of them have now shut up shop for the holidays so instead here is my guide to last minute gift ideas that are a bit more ethical and a little less consumerist.
If you are still struggling to buy for that person that has everything or you accidentally missed someone off your list then here are some ideas to consider. They might seem pretty obvious but with all the stresses at this time of year it’s good to have a refresher!
Gift a Skill
- If you are a great cook (or even if you are an average cook) do you have a defining dish that you make all the time and is delicious, why not make up a few extra portions and they would be appreciated by any elderly relatives or brand new parents who are struggling to cook for themselves. There is nothing better than a lovely home cooked meal! It’s best if you can make something that will keep in the fridge or freezer, a hearty soup, stew or chilli maybe?
- A similar concept is baking, everyone loves cake! It doesn’t have to be anything too complex but wrap it nicely and it makes for a really thoughtful gift. You could even try a home made granola, its so quick and simple; I make a huge batch every week and have gifted it to friends in kilner jars and it has gone down a treat!
- If you are not a great baker, then fill a nice jar with the ingredients to make something lovely instead.
- Can you knit or crochet? Even if you are beginner but you can cast on, knit a straight line and cast off then you can make a whole range of things from scarves, wrist warmers, phone cases, dishcloths… take a look online for super-easy patterns. Pick up balls of wool in charity shops for a good price.
- Artists can gift a piece of their artwork, make it something specifically designed for the recipient as art is a very personal thing and you wouldn’t want it to end up hidden away at the back of a cupboard.
- Are you an ace at nail art, then gift a pamper evening; face masks, manicures or whatever else you fancy…
Gift Your Time
- Time is probably something we could all do with a little bit more of so a promise of your time is the ultimate gift for busy people.
- Offer to babysit, dog sit, house sit whatever it is they need to allow them to take some time off. They might be too proud to ask for help or feel like they would be putting you out so make it clear that they are on your priority list.
- Alternatively gift the promise of your time to spend with them, make it legitimate with a ‘goodwill’ voucher and be specific i.e ‘I promise to take you out to your favourite coffee shop for tea and cakes’/ ‘I promise to bring over a takeaway and a movie one Friday evening.’ If they are someone really special, then you could make up a whole booklet of goodwill vouchers. There is a template at the bottom that you can download and use.
- If you are a dab hand with a paintbrush or nail gun then offer your time to help them with a DIY project. Everyone has jobs to finish in the house and it’s always nice to have a helping hand.
Gift the Environment
- Look online for ways to sponsor an animal or if the charity have an Amazon wishlist that you can send to. A nature reserve near where I live allows you to sponsor a bird box. The perfect gift for any animal lover and you can usually download a certificate of sponsorship by email so it can be very last minute!
- A plant makes a lovely gift although not everyone is green fingered. Gifting a cacti or a hardy houseplant is an option and if you have plants yourself then take cuttings from then and put in a nice pot with care care and instant gift! You could even get creative by making a fairy garden or terrarium, so many wonderful ideas on Pinterest.
- Recycle. I think we can all admit to receiving gifts that have just sat gathering dust for a while, as long as they are still in date and in good nick then there is no shame in re-gifting to someone who will appreciate, just make sure you don’t give it back to the person who got you it!
- Have a craft kit lurking in the back of the cupboard that you haven’t finished (or even started)? Dig it out and its the perfect time to get it completed and give it to someone, you never know you might discover you have learnt a new skill in the process.
- There are so many home made bath and body products that can be made using kitchen cupboard essentials, good recipes for natural lip scrubs, hair masks, bath salts etc. a nice label and you’re good to go. If they have short shelf lives then write out the recipes instead so the recipient knows how to make their own.
- Visit independent coffee shops to ask if they do vouchers for afternoon tea etc or get a voucher for a haircut, manicure, craft or cooking classes at a local workshop. This all helps to support the high street.
- Search out local charities, they always need help. You can buy merchandise such as calendars or there are often ways to sponsor. Even better if the charity is close to the heart of the recipient.
- Make a mixtape. I suppose the 2018 version is to create a personalised Spotify playlist rather than recording songs off the radio onto cassette tapes!
- Root through your digital photos and get some printed. Make up an album or if you are handy with a computer you should be able to make a collage of the best ones that you can then pop in a frame.
- Write a heartfelt letter, a poem or even write a song (if you are lucky enough to be skilled in that way!)
- Make an inspiration or memory jar. The idea is to put strips of paper or ribbons with either memories or inspirational phrases or a mixture of both.
If you like the idea of giving your time then you are welcome to download my free goodwill voucher in your choice of gold, silver or rose gold for personal use. You could even print off a few and either staple or tie together with ribbon to make a book of vouchers.