December, for most people, is the most expensive month of the year. It’s when summer holidays officially kick off, meaning more entertaining, going out and away. And then if you celebrate holidays with gifting, there are presents to be bought and doled out.
All of this equals a lot of consumption and if you’re trying to cut down on consumption, buying things for the sake of being able to give someone a wrapped box (because that’s what everyone does) doesn’t always feel right. We were recently asked to share ideas for gifting that “went beyond capitalism”, that don’t involve buying things. We set out to create an intangible gift guide filled with meaningful gift ideas that go beyond things.
Luci offered this idea, saying that her family pledges towards a charity and gives the cash they would have spent on gifts to a charity. This sentiment was echoed by Shirley . If you want to personalise that donation more, choose ya donor based on something that’s meaningful to your family or the person you’re giving it on behalf of.
Plant a Tree
There are various non-profits that plant trees as part of their efforts to create a more sustainable world. Most of them allow you to sponsor a tree as a gift. The person you’re gifting it to receives a certificate to say that a tree was planted for them. Locally you can sponsor a tree through GreenPop here, but if there’s a country that is special to the person you’re gifting, find out if they have a similar service and get one planted there.
By vouchers I don’t mean a shopping voucher but rather a voucher that allows the gifted to redeem something from the giftee. Whether this is a day off from chores, choosing their favourite meal that you will cook for them, or for parents – a few hours alone or free babysitting. This obviously works better for family members and close friends, but is a way of giving them something you know they’ll appreciate.
Gifting an experience allows you to give a gift that will be used and most likely valued instead of eventually thrown out. It allows you to choose your budget so you can go small (a massage or hike and picnic) or big (a trip). You can also choose learning experiences like pottery making classes or cooking classes, to align with their interests. And of course, an experience can be shared.
This is the gift of saving not spending and allows you to start someone on their path to financial freedom. EasyEquities offers vouchers you can purchase for someone. You purchase a voucher here that they can then invest in the portfolio they want via the EasyEquities platform. The person you’re buying it for doesn’t need an account on EasyEquities, although they will need one to use it – but setting it up is easy! I’ve seen people do this for kids and as newborn presents and it’s a great way to teach children the value of patience and money.
Similar to vouchers and experience, this allows you to give someone the gift of something they enjoy ir have wanted to do. If they’ve been looking to rad more but don’t have time give a membership to audible where they can listen to books. Other memberships can include classes like fitness classes they either already go to or have wanted to try out.
Shop small and Local
If you need a tangible gift opt for shopping at the small and local businesses where your spending makes a huge difference. The businesses where there’s someone on the other end who visibly celebrates every time they get an order, and to whom each order allows them to grow into a bigger and sustainable business.
Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.