I’ve made a Christmas resolution. This year, I aim to give ‘consumable’ gifts, which have a purpose, rather than just ‘stuff.’
I have just moved house, and with it, done a huge cull of things we don’t need – which, as it turns out, is quite a lot. As Christmas is fast approaching, and I haven’t started shopping for gifts yet, I have resolved to give my loved ones things they can use, or which are practical.
Here are some of the ideas I’ve had:
Art supplies – crafty things are always needed where there are children around – interesting pens, pencils, coloured paper and colouring books will keep them entertained for hours. They are multi-use, but will eventually be used and not take up a lot of space in the mean time. There are also some great ‘organisers’ available for art supplies which makes storage easy and attractive.
Silly sensible clothes – Socks for Christmas is always a running joke, except that everyone needs new ‘smalls’ from time to time. Not all socks and undies are created equal – try seeking out some fun or silly designs to jazz up the gift. For little girls, hair ties and clips often end up in the Bermuda triangle, and need to be replaced often.
Food – you can make up baking mixes (for example, brownies) and present them in attractive jars with the recipe attached. Sift all the dry ingredients together in the jar and then all the recipient needs to do is add the wet ingredients and bake it. It’s a fun activity and is an excellent way to share special family recipes.
This works well for all age groups and if you have someone to buy for with special dietary requirements, you can make them their own ‘brew.’
Food is a wonderfully versatile gift – baking, preserves, home made cordials or even wine (the ultimate consumable!) works well in many occasions. Try the recipes here.
Vouchers – once seen as a ‘lazy’ gift, vouchers are actually incredibly practical, and can be great fun for those who don’t get to shop for themselves very often. Tweens and teens, who are notoriously hard to buy for, tend to love going shopping, so a voucher is perfect.
For keen readers, book vouchers or online vouchers to top up a kindle will set them up for a summer of relaxation. Online vouchers are also a great option when gifting to people who don’t live nearby – no postage needed!
Experiences – memories are made through experience. Buy a ticket for a show, exhibition, concert or excursion – it’s a fantastic gift idea.
Plants – at your local garden centre, buy some herb seedlings and give a living gift – a portable herb garden. Try a flexible bin (the sort you can use to store everything from kids toys to sports gear to shoes in), put some holes in the bottom, and presto! You have a mobile garden for small plants.
Remember, there are many people who could use donations at this time of year – add to the grocery collection at your local supermarket or drop off good quality used items to a hospice shop or charity of your choice.