See Part 1 for more gift ideas that help the world.
Whether you intend to celebrate the holidays at all or in part, in a secular fashion, or with lots of religion and tradition, there will probably be at least one gift that you need to buy this season.
If you’re looking to purchase a thoughtful gift and need some ideas, here are a few suggestions for presents that help the world (or at least don’t utterly ruin it):
Buy art, all the time, please. There’s so much more to the art world than enormous paintings (but if you want to buy someone an enormous painting, I say go for it).
Etsy and Instagram are full of indie jewelry-makers who make me want to whip out my credit card so fast that the friction ignites my wallet. Get friends or family unique pieces of jewelry, framed art prints, or pottery. The new year is coming up, so for your friends who love stationery: get them a new planner.
7. Sample boxes
Sample boxes are huge right now. There is a monthly delivery box for every conceivable need or personality. There are cosmetics and body care products (probably the most well-known), snacks, and even books! I personally love to gift the Petit-Vour box. It’s a box of luxurious vegan beauty products
and it is always a hit. I’m subscribed to their monthly service and it takes all my willpower not to faint with delight when I see it in the mailbox. Sample boxes are a great way to introduce non-vegan friends and family to the wealth of vegan products out there.
This is about as low-impact as it gets. Plus, the people in your life will love getting something that you’ve made just for them. I always thought that the Weasley kids should have been more appreciative of their mum’s Christmas jumpers, but I’ll have to take it up with J.K. someday. Giving everyone the same gift also democratizes gift-giving. No more “Well, we got Aunt Mary a scarf, but we got Aunt Grace The Blues Brothers: Special Edition DVD; are these two things roughly equivalent?”
You also don’t have to be incredibly crafty to pull off hand-made gift-giving. I mean, by all means, if you have a skill, use it! But I’ve done a few low-maintenance home-made gifts that were fun to create and that I know the recipients enjoyed. Last year we gave the Christmas-celebrators ornaments (buy a bunch of empty glass ornaments and hooks, fill ornaments with glitter, write the recipient’s name on with metallic paint pen, festoon with curled ribbon). The year before we layered a dry cookie mix in mason jars, wrote out instructions for baking, and again festooned with ribbon. Pinterest is your friend here.
9. Skill development
Buy a webinar or online class. You’re supporting a self-employed consultant or teacher, and the recipient gets to learn a new skill. There are webinars in literally everything, from coding to cooking, Microsoft Office to auto repair. You can also buy an in-person class– check out the Continuing Education department at your local community college for ideas, but those may cost more than a webinar.
10. Green solutions for the home
Some of these are on the “large-gift” side, but if you can get several people to chip in, they are feasible.
Clothesline installation and drying rack
Smaller green solution gift ideas:
I think it would be cute to do a basket of reusable grocery bags, cloth napkins, and maybe a coffee thermos.
Bonus gift idea:
A home-cooked meal. Don’t do this for everyone on your list, because you’ll be cooking meals until Valentine’s Day, but a home-cooked vegan meal is a really wonderful way to share your love with someone. If your kitchen skill level is at “vegan grilled-cheese” then jazz it up with some arugula and red onion. Make someone a casserole or a set-it-and-forget-it batch of slow-cooked soup.