It’s almost Christmas time! While the frenzy of consumption before Christmas is nothing new, remember that you don’t have to make everyone happy this Christmas especially if you can’t afford it. It’s okay if you can’t make your kids’ and parents’ and co-workers’ and friends’ wishes come true. If you want to preserve the holiday spirit of charity, here are a few ideas for conscious gifts for your loved ones and strangers.
1. Give gift cards from these amazing brands
I think that gift cards are smart options. Do you know why? well you allow your lucky gift-getters to have the chance to buy what they want from their favorite stores…or from these sustainable and ethical brands that I have got to know and love. I use SAJE products and own a couple of KOTN items (and no, I am not paid for sharing these with you!)
My partner gave me my first diffuser from SAJE and I have been a fan since then. SAJE is a Canadian-owned and operated natural wellness brand. The majority of their products are manufactured locally, their ingredients are derived from safe and renewable resources (100% natural) and the packaging is simple and made of recycled or recyclable materials. Their essential oils smell great and are perfect natural solutions for stress, allergies, cold & flu etc. I am personally a big fan of their IMMUNE antibacterial diffuser blend.
Shop SAJE gifts cards here
KOTN is great. They are a certified B Corporation (Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose). Over Black Friday, they raised enough money to fund their second school in Egypt. When it comes to shipping their products, they make sure they offset 100% of each order. While their products are manufactured in Egypt, they have three retail stores in Canada: In Toronto (754 Queen St. West) Vancouver (348 Water St.) and Montreal (29 Rue Saint Viateur O). Shop KOTN gifts cards here .
2. Give your time
Be a cheerful giver. Do not be controlled by guilt, but give out of love. A gift doesn’t have to cost a lot to mean a lot so:
- Offer to help someone decorate
- Offer to babysit for the night by giving a couple, a mom or dad, some quiet time alone during a hectic time of year.
- Cook and have (a) friend(s) over. If you are not in the mood for hosting at your place (and that is okay), cook and put the extra in containers to give away to a friend.
- Consider giving what you may have on hand as a gift to someone who may have hinted an interest in them.
- Volunteer (I volunteer every year at the Salon des artisans récupérateurs – or the Recycling Artists Eco Fair in english in Montreal. The Salon helps create a parallel market for recycling artists or local artisans to showcase the region and to help us make environmentally friendly gift choices. Check it out next year!)
- Donate items to a homeless shelter.
- Send someone an encouraging note (Encouragement is a gift that costs nothing. My partner taught me this by gifting me this and since then, I love gifting encouragement to my loved ones too)
- Help a friend shine. Many friends of mine are already working on amazing projects or starting amazing businesses. I help them shine by sharing what they do. I want to acknowledge their accomplishments and successes.
- Listen. Yes, give the gift of listening by taking time to sit with your kids, a friend, your spouse, or a neighbour and just listen to them. Make a point to focus on what someone else has to say.
I hope these ideas help you as we know the demands of the season can be overwhelming and sometimes overshadow the joy of Christmas.