These days it feels like Christmas is always just around the corner. You get through the festive season just to hear talk about the next. Whilst some love and embrace this, many find it overwhelming and frustrating. It can be especially difficult when you hear this echoed all around. Even if you manage to avoid the supermarkets, TV ads and fliers through the door, it’s all over the internet and social media too. Hard as you try and whatever your stance, you can’t escape Christmas and eventually you’ll find yourself wondering if it is time to start thinking about Christmas gifting yet?
There is this fab little image floating around the internet at the moment about the hierarchy of ethical gift giving. I adore it. The idea is that from most desirable to least it promotes memories, time, upcycling, second hand, crafted/made, ethical purchase and then, as the last resort, a traditional purchase. I wholeheartedly endorse this! The idea of giving someone a day out at a gig or an event, or your time and skills in a personal project, is much more desirable than something else detrimental to the environment. Furthermore, I feel like this comes with a less stressful approach to gift giving, and keeps us away from the hustle and bustle of the festive rush.
I’m not someone who manages to get on top of things often. It isn’t due to lack of wanting, or even laziness. My situation just leaves me unable to (although who doesn’t love a spell of procrastination) and I’m very Busy these days.
This said, when it comes to gift giving, there are benefits to being on top of it (if you can). Buying ahead means more likely to buy sensibly and ethically. You’re less likely to panic and can better find a meaningful gift that the recipient needs. The whole process is more efficient; more consistent financially, more options, less stress, and more time and headspace given to the person in question.
All this isn’t to say that there isn’t an argument for last minute purchases being a good idea too! Truth be told, this is me more often than not; though not for these reasons. Overanalysing can make buying presents incredibly stressful and daunting. It may even flare your anxiety, and you end up dwelling on things too long. Last minute shopping does force you to make a decision and move on to the next. What you end up doing is looking at and considering things that you might not ordinarily, which could make for fun and interesting gifts. However, if ethical gift giving is a concern (and I believe it should be) then you have to be mindful when buying last minute.
Whether you shop in advance or last minute, there are plenty of environmentally- friendly gift ideas. As already mentioned, tickets to an event are a good idea, or an offer of help with that big project. Or maybe give them a night in on you; the bundle could include some yummy edible treats, and a favourite drink or two, for example. A gifted special night in would mean as much to many as a night out. You could go all out; some personalised Christmas chocolate, a sweet message, and maybe even provide the tunes through a personalised playlist. So whether buying your gifts sooner or later, there is a way to make it work. You can be ethical, affectionate and considerate in how you do so. Both have their benefits, but what do you think?
*This is a collaborative post.