In 2016 the British gave and received £2 billion worth of unwanted gifts.
That resulted in 81 million unwanted presents!
What happens to all these unwanted gifts?
About a quarter are kept, despite being unwanted, a quarter get re-gifted and about 20% are donated. Staggeringly somewhere between 5-10% are thrown in the bin!
We all want to give gifts that bring joy and don’t end up the trash! Here is a little inspiration to help as you consider what to gift this year.
- Your time! This may sound a little strange. But think of things like a babysitting session or having their kids for a night. Maybe there is a job they can’t face like sorting their photos into albums. Offer to do it for them! Or perhaps their garden needs some attention. Think outside the box, be creative!
- A day out. Two sisters decided to do this in lieu of presents. They had a sumptuous spa day instead.
- Words of affirmation. A beautiful hand written letter, letting them know what you appreciate about them, or a poem. If this is their love language, it will be well received.
- A beauty treatment. One Christmastime a dear friend looked after my children, whilst she had arranged a beauty treatment for me. It was a total surprise; I could choose whatever I wanted and opted for a manicure. I loved it!
- Luxury edible gifts. Think about what food and drink they like and buy a luxury version of it. A friend of mine does an online shop from Fortnum and Mason, think gin (with good tonic), chocolates and wine. Look out for local artisan Christmas fayres to support small independent businesses too.
- Homemade food. Two years ago some good friends gifted us a bottle of red wine, Stilton, crackers and a jar of homemade ‘boxing day’ chutney. It was the perfect gift for us. Have a friend that bakes? Ask them if they could make you some bespoke gifts. A friend of mine makes incredible granola, which is a delectable gift everyone loves and you choose the ‘flavour’. Check out @nounaskitchen on instagram!
- Gift vouchers for their favourite take away. (Shhh I may or may not be giving this to my in-laws!). Deliveroo credit works well too, depending on where they live.
- A Weekend away. In the same vein as a day out, you could suggest a family or friends weekend away, where you each pay for yourselves. Try Canopy&stars for something fun and whimsical!
- Consumables. You may hate being given this type of gift. It can be considered a little impersonal by some. But I love receiving indulgent body lotion, a scented soy candle or face mask. Think carefully about the individual and don’t just buy your wife a bunch of toiletries from a high street brand, round the corner from your office! Effort is key here.
- A years subscription. Think Netflix, magazines or a monthly chocolate delivery.
Play around with the concepts depending on the age and preferences of the recipients.
Tips to bear in mind for children:
- If it’s a craft gift, make sure it’s something they can do by themselves. The parents will thank-you!
- Consider what the parents will think! Will it add to an already full house or be a blessing to them? I bought my firstborn niece an electric quacking duck on her first Christmas, it was not appreciated by my brother!
Consider these four headings too, something they need, want, read or wear.
Personally we give all of our nieces, nephews and godchildren money! Boring I know, but my hope is that it will pay for driving lessons when they are older! Plus it will teach them about deferred gratification.
I hope these suggestions help!
In the week after Christmas I will do a post on what to do with unwanted gifts.
As ever do get in touch with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love hearing from you.