Exchanging presents during Christmas has become so normalized in our culture that is hard to think about this celebration of family without colourful packages everywhere.
A Christmas present is a symbol of the love we want to both give and receive. Regardless of what we know about the negative consequences of excessive consumption, material presents have a deep emotional meaning that isn’t fought with a simple rejection.
We need to change our perspective. This year we invite you to offer gifts that will really bring joy to the people who receive them, that were made with love, in the most sustainable way possible.
Before buying any souvenir let’s think if it will really be appreciated, and long-lasting. How many times have we received sweet little things that, even though were given with a good intention, are now lost in dusty drawers that we don’t even remember? Let’s break this cycle, this year! If you don’t know what to offer and need tips for presents that are really special, ethical and sustainable, you can breathe with relief because they’re all over the next paragraphs!
Our first idea? Arts & Craft Markets of course! Those magical places that artists create with their hearts and souls. You wouldn’t only be supporting an ethical and sustainable way of producing, but also our culture’s democracy and creative expression. If you love to see art flower through the city’s corners, support it and help it grow. The singularity of the pieces will only make your gift more special!
If you prefer to look for the ideal present in the comfort of your home, nice and warm next to a delicious cup of coffee, there are some lovely online platforms supporting artists all around the world.
Ó Galeria, and Olá Breinar are the result of two Portuguese art galleries, that also sell illustrations and lovely designer pieces, that opened their own online store. It is an adorable world, and we know you will love to get lost in it!
If you want something very specific and very crafty Etsy, is where you want to be. This is a platform where artists, and craftspeople from all around the world come to sell pretty much anything you can imagine!
But then again who said presents have to be a material thing? What about offering dinner at a beautiful restaurant by the sea, or maybe even a trip? Have some fun buying a special postcard, look for a good poem to write on it, and set a date!
And have you thought about offering a brand new hobby? Maybe some dance classes, martial arts, or even an entire day on a trampoline gym. If the person you want to surprise prefers something calmer, what about a ceramics workshop, or some macramé classes? The possibilities are endless and extremely enriching! Sometimes all we need is a lit bit of excitement in our routine to make life feel lighter.
However, if the receiver of this present is always running around, perhaps a day at a SPA is a better option. You can offer pure relaxation in the form of a massage or even as a skin treatment.
For those of you that look for a unique romantic gesture, we have the perfect answer.
We couldn’t write a sustainable present’s guide without mentioning books. Even though they require many resources, books are long-lasting and incredibly powerful. They relax us, allow us to reflect, take us to amazing places and educate us. A way to make books more sustainable is to buy them in 2nd hand. Gifting a book that touched us deeply is a beautiful way to show to a person how much we care. Sharing a book we love is sharing part of ourselves. Write an old fashioned dedication on the 1st page, for a more tender and personal feel!
If you need inspiration to pick a book, check out Emma Watson’s book recommendations our shared shelf or find out what Bill Gates is reading
However, there are presents with a greater positive impact on the planet and on our future. That’s why we would like to propose that you offer a tree to fight deforestation, or even adopt an animal from an endangered species, like a giraffe. This way these wild beautiful creatures get to stay in their natural habitats while they are being protected and taken care of. It’s an exciting present, it’s different and extremely important to our future. These are presents that remind us to be grateful and that we have a lot of work to do.
As you can see sustainability can make Christmas even more special!
We wish you a Christmas filled with good vibes!