How to Practice Mindful Giving this Christmas

With 2020 ending, many of us are inspired and encouraged to cultivate generosity and kindness and enhance the spirit of Christmas to everyone around us.

The spirit of gift giving does not have to be limited to buying new objects. There are many opportunities to get creative even on a limited budget.

Here are 10 tips to get creative, sustainable and mindful in your giving this Christmas.

  1. 1. Pre-Loved, Second-Hand Gifts

Break cultural norms and get on the sustainability movement! We always forget that Recycling is part of three Rs. Before Recycle, there’s Reduce, Reuse and then Recycle. When you commit to getting a pre-loved gift, you’re buying one less new product that takes litres of water and/or crude oil (if it’s made from or wrapped with plastic) to produce in the supply chain of things.

Pre-loved gifts can range from cheap & cheerful to luxury. Being sustainable is an opportunity to get creative! Try antique shops, thrift stores, second hand books and flea markets!

If you live in Dubai like we do, here are a few ideas: Flea Markets, Thrift for Good, and Luxury Closet.

  1. 2. Thoughtful Re-gifting 

If someone has given you something in the past where you had no use for, there is nothing wrong with re-gifting it to someone who will find use for it.

Growing up, there were times where family members and friends re-gifted mindlessly and this practice was given a bad reputation. The point is to be mindful of the person you are giving it to.

One less gift purchased is more ease to your pocket and to the environment!

  1. 3. Buy Local, Support Small Businesses

If you’re attached to the idea of buying new things, buy local and from small businesses. Purchasing from a small business owner can go a long way. You can find them through your friends, local markets and from Instagram. We personally love buying gifts from friends who have products for purchase. A shout out to: Shea Global, Banak Kitchen, Scene Beirut, Yoga Shoppe and Layyel Kayyef(all based in the UAE)!

Ripe Market, artist collectives and other small markets in Dubai has a lot of great options too!

  1. 4. Long-Lasting Gifts

Being mindful to gifting can include how long the item may last or perhaps a gift that keeps on giving. A houseplant is our favourite recommendation.

If houseplants might not be the right gift, check out Buy Me Once, for ideas of long-lasting items.

  1. 5. Zero-Waste Gifting

Contribute to cultivating a greener world by buying gifts that encourage people to live a more sustainable life.  Look for brands that offer package-free everyday items that are environmentally-friendly.

Check out these Zero Waste Kits. They sell everything from reusable items like containers, straws, bags as well as beauty products and other everyday products.

  1. 6. Homemade / DIY Gifts

If you have the time for it, a favourite gift by most people is something made with love from you. Knitting, decorations, and items are the best. Check out this list of 95 DIY Christmas Gifts you can make for your friends and family this year.

  1. 7. Edible Gifts

Everyone needs to eat!  Select an edible gift whether purchased or made by you. We love the idea of baked goods like cookies and cupcakes in reusable boxes as gifts. Don’t forget to  be mindful and consider people’s dietary restrictions with this gift!

  1. 8. Charitable Gifting 

Most charities around the world offer gift certificates or donations in the name of friends and family. Our favourite is Kiva.  It’s not quite charitable as you are lending to support underbanked entrepreneurs around the world.

Once the loans have been repaid, the funds can be reloaned over and over again. It also allows the recipient of the gift to engage with by choosing who to lend to.

  1. 9. Memberships & Online Courses

A gift that keeps on giving are memberships and online courses that caters to the interests of the gift receiver.

Some ideas can include Netflix, Mubi, and TIFF for film lovers. There are loads of online courses and membership platforms for learning of all interests.

We recommend being mindful of people’s time commitment requirements.  The best are courses that allow the learner to decide when to commit to the coursework.

  1. 10. Experiences

Consider the gift of experiences instead. Quality time and trying new activities with loved ones often provide more lasting memories than purchased items.  This can include a spa day together, amusement parks, escape rooms, concerts, art galleries and museums.

Developing the gift of experiences doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as simple as scheduling a hike or picnic day at the park, beach or desert.

Whatever the experience is, the gift includes your creativity and your time to organize and schedule the activity.

If you’re in Dubai, we recommend Frying Pan Adventures and Art Fem for some painting!

Comment below and tell us your ideas!