Most of us have been there: The final deadline approaching (or long gone) for shipping the last minute Christmas gifts we need, and we haven’t got them all sorted. We kick ourselves for not starting earlier, or shopping the sales, or even just planning when shipping was an option. But better planning aside, we still need that gift.
Then the temptation to jump on Amazon Prime and let our values slide for a second with a rush shipped item from who knows where with who knows what impact… it’s so real.
But there are other options that can be so meaningful without the impact of rush shipping and a gift with unknown sourcing. Which is the goal right?! So here are some things to consider before you jump on Prime and rush ship that item to check everyone off your list!
Go local and buy something from a small business!
Remember local stores are open beyond shipping cut off dates! With the world of online shopping, its easy to forget that we can go out and shop real local shops! And shopping local does so much for your local area and economy beyond beating shipping deadlines; from environmental impact to charitable and community impact. Think about your area and look to see what you could buy from where you live or direct from people you know. So many of us know artists, makers and people who provide different giftable services. Who can you buy from local to you? And remember charity shops have great giftable options too! (Photo by Jonny Gios on Unsplash)
Give a gift to charity and write a heartfelt note about why you did and where you gave!
This can be a really beautiful way to gift and for people who just don’t need something new – or where you don’t know what to buy – it can be a great way not to waste and to do good rather than guessing. A lot of charities will give ideas of what a certain amount can do, which can feel like an even more meaningful gift to know exactly what was done on someone’s behalf. I love Oxfam’s cards that make a beautiful gift specifying exactly what your money has done, and you can choose a project that feels aligned with the person you’re gifting too. All their options are HERE.
Give elevated consumables!
Especially with the cost of living going up, the gift of everyday consumables (but maybe elevated!) can be a brilliant one! Waste wise it can also be a good option, giving people something they’ll consume and something that’s needed. It’s also a great one when we don’t know what people want. Going slightly more luxury than every day can turn everyday ‘needs’ into more of a thoughtful feeling gift. Things like tea (I love using Pukka as a B Corp and fully plastic free option), coffee, hand soap, other nice grocery bits, or I love giving locally made pasta, sauces, or anything I think someone will love. You could also group bits around a theme like supplies for “breakfast in bed” or for “a British Bakeoff Baking Session” or “a charcuterie spread.” You could easily add plates, baskets or utensils from a charity shop too.
Give a personalised date night gift basket
I love this slightly ‘nicer’ option for a gift card if a gift card doesn’t feel personal enough. Combine an Apple TV or Netflix gift card (which you can usually find locally and not need shipping, but there are also online options) with a few things for date night. Think: Pop corn kernels in an up-cycled jar or bars of chocolate or a bottle of wine.
Give time together!
In place of a physical gift, give time together over a meal, coffee or experience. Write a note in a card that you’re going to take the recipient to coffee, for a meal, make them dinner, go wine tasting, or organise a theatre/cinema trip. Anything that feels like them – often the gift of time together can be a brilliant one!
Give a membership or experience!
There are so many different ways you can take this! From paying for something you know they need and already pay for – like Netflix, or a veg box, or a gym session – to an annual membership or one off session at a place you know they’d love. Get creative and think about what they’d love.
Give a service with a skill you have
Depending on who you’re gifting to and what you have to offer this could be a great idea. Think of something you’re able to do from a professional service you’re qualified in, to giving a night of babysitting: a fantastic gift for parents! I’ve been gifted countertop fitting by a carpenter, photos from a photographer, and a compost heap built in my garden by a friend! It can be so so meaningful!
Give something homemade!
Giving something homemade can be a beautiful and thoughtful way to gift. Do you make sourdough and you can gift a loaf with some jam or great butter? Or a soup to go in the freezer and a loaf of bread, or baked goods, or home made nut butters or any other skill you have! I’m also giving little silhouette art hangings that took a few simple supplies. This year I’m gifting wreaths of THIS babka for some gifts this year.
Money towards something they’re saving for.
Like every gift, this depends on your relationship, but if you know something they’re saving for (and this can be a great one for kids too!) then gift some money. It can be more vulnerable to have people now exactly what you spent – but it can be brilliant and helpful rather than wasteful.
Be honest and take more time!
You can also just be honest, and say: “I really wanted to get something meaningful and the right thing didn’t pop up, so instead of gifting you something for the sake of it – I’m going to give you the right gift when I find it!” Or find something that won’t ship for Christmas and tell them “it’s been a year, I’m sorry I wasn’t on time but this is on it’s way to you!” You could leave it a mystery or include a picture of the item. If you need ideas for conscious gifts you can find a range of ideas in my Better Holiday Gift Guides HERE (US) and HERE (UK.)
Or if you need to, still use Prime, but use it better!
This probably isn’t my top option BUT it’s the grey of Amazon. There are some sellers where Amazon is the way they can break into the market. Or the way small businesses from one country can sell in another. So if you’re going to do it, shop a brand you know that’s doing good, or look for the small business label on Amazon for a hopefully better way if you need it. We love things like this British B Corp whisky we the highest care for the earth, or a box or bottles of kombucha from our friends at Holos, or stunning beeswax candles and home items from the Goldrick Store.