Christmas is pretty funny when you really think about it; what was once a religious day (and of course still is for many) is now more of a consumerist concoction of over-doing and over-indulging. What’s beautiful about Christmas is that most people get to have a break from their work, which may be stressful and demanding and instead, if they’re lucky, they have the time to spend with their loved ones. It is so easy to be sucked into the idea that because it’s December you must spend x amount of money on x amount of people, but what does that really do? Surely that’s just following the herd that the marketing and advertisement agencies have strived to create in order to put more money into this material cycle, rather than truly showing someone you love them.
Think about ALL OF THE WASTE that happens at this time of year; buying extortionate amounts of food and drink because we’re told we need to have over and above in order to have a ‘merry Christmas’, or the masses of plastic packaging that wraps around the deliveries we receive, the sets we purchase or the wrapping paper, tags, cards and the plastic packaging that even these packaging items are sold in!
What’s the greatest gift you could give? Personally I think that in most cases it’s your time. Take the time to really think about the select people that you do want to give a gift (whether or not it’s Christmas!) and really put time and thought in…
I LOVE giving gifts, whether it’s an experience, a box of homemade granola or a hand-crafted item. Here’s some great ideas of thoughtful gifts that don’t cost the earth and allow for your own creative juices to flow:
- A luxury massage (either at a beautiful spa or given by you)
- A surprise trip to a secret location (a weekend away/a day trip/an evening under the stars)
- A hand designed bottle of bath salts (reuse a glass jar/bottle from the kitchen and source sea salt, pink Himalayan salt & Epsom salts then add some herbs like lavender or rosemary)
- A handmade voucher for dinner in your own home restaurant (you could even create a beautiful menu with their favourite dishes you’ve ever made them).
My boyfriend and I won’t be together at Christmas and after he surprised me with a trip to the Sahara Desert, I was thinking hard about what I’d like to give. I was struck with a couple of extra challenges than normal in that he still has some travelling to do so doesn’t need any extra weight, plus the fact that we won’t be together (to enjoy an experience) again until February. So, in the end I came up with the idea of a homemade, light weight gift + an experience we can look forward to:
Natural Optimisation Kit
Sam is going to climb the highest mountain in South America, a three week challenge that will need some essentials. I gathered an additional 4 natural potions that could help him to enjoy it the most:
- Turmeric & black pepper blend for anti-inflamation
- Peruvian powder blend of cacao, maca and sacha inchi for a boost in vital nutrients, promoting strength
- Ginseng for extra energy
- Eucalyptus which is dissolved in boiling water creating an extremely strong steam, potent enough to clear headaches and nausea (these crystals are sold all over Morocco).
It was extremely difficult to find glass bottles. Unfortunately here in Morocco, plastic pervades… everywhere. I searched all over the biggest souk in Africa and it wasn’t until I’d actually given up hope, when I spotted some glass bottles behind one man’s stall – hallelujah.
I also handmade Sam a card. I collected flowers from the mountains during my morning run one day then dry pressed them for a few days. Once they had dried, I used tweezers, a paint brush and glue to create this design… it wasn’t quick and easy, it took time and precision but that’s what makes it all the more special.
Finally, I booked us in for pottery workshops for when we’re back in Sydney so we have the opportunity to learn a new skill together and create something ourselves.
Giving should be fun and challenging in a good way, not stressful and soul destroying! Think of all that time stood in shopping cues or scrolling through the internet and think how much more creatively you could use your time hand picking/making a gift totally unique, truly expressing what that person means to you.
Enjoy giving your time this Christmas.