2020 has been a weird one and it seems the perfect time to show a little more love. One great way to show your loved ones that you care is through the art of gift-giving. Personally, I think it’s always best to get gifts you know someone will actually use and love. These don’t always have to be ridiculously expensive either… I know my student budget certainly can’t afford a bottle of Chanel for everyone. It’s also more important than ever this year to shop local and shop small (much more sustainable) so I’d suggest trying your best to do this, be it from online small stores or from your local high street.
First up… Christmas treats. Food and beverages are never wasted (at least not on me). Make some yummy treats – Jane’s Patisserie has some lovely festive recipes – and wrap them up with a bow, if you’re looking to save a bit of money. Homemade mince pies always have that personal touch. Alternatively, some festive goodies from just your local Tesco’s will go down a treat… My favourite ethical chocolate brand is Tony’s Chocolonely; they’ve brought out a limited edition candy cane bar and a gingerbread bar in the cutest packaging – how dreamy?! Boozy gifts are also always fun – you could make your own G&T kit with some nice tonics and mini gin bottles. Make a favourite food hamper – show them you know them by putting a hamper together of all their favourite foods that they’re guaranteed to love.
There are some great subscription services out there too. Bird and Blend Tea Co. have a tea subscription box and Grind also provide a coffee subscription box, including coffee grounds or compostable Nespresso pods for those lucky Nespresso machine owners out there. From a quick Google search, there are some other great subscriptions services out there, including plant subscriptions at Beards & Daisies and book subscriptions at Thoughtful Book Subscription. These are just some examples of gorgeous subscriptions that are guaranteed to be loved.
Another useful gift that we can’t not mention – the FACE COVERING! The most loved (and compulsory) accessory of 2020 that won’t be going out of fashion any time soon. Get your loved ones a pretty mask for them to don in the new year for all of their essential shopping. Of course, a nice smelling hand sanitizer will always go down a treat (nothing worse than the ones that smell of tequila at 10 in the morning) paired with an actual face mask for an at-home facial to tackle that maskne (if you know, you know) to create a little Covid-19 goodie bag.
Here’s one for those who love a pamper and if you are happy to spend a bit more money, or team up with a few others to get it – the do-it-at-home gel nail kit (Professional Beauty Products Online UK – Mylee is a great website). Not so local, but this is a saviour for the dreaded lockdowns when you need a little pamper.
Give bottle lights a Google, great to brighten up an old Vodka bottle to pimp up your uni room; a gift every student can get use out of. Of course, any fairy lights will do too! You can also never go wrong with candles for creating your own sanctuary in these strange times.
Some sustainable gifts that everyone can use include beeswax wraps. Perfect for your Christmas leftovers, most supermarkets are now stocking them and there are also some great ones on Etsy from some smaller brands that are still delivering before Christmas. You can pop them over your half-eaten veggies, or use them to wrap up your sandwich to take on your socially distanced walk then just wash and reuse. On the reusable trend, metal straws are another great one which you can pick up pretty much anywhere, with great choices online too. We all know the coffee addict (or the more tame tea drinker) so a reusable coffee cup is a perfect gift that can be used again and again whilst saving a few coffee cups from landfill. Most coffee shops also give a discount if you bring your own cup! It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
One for the plant parent is a plant pot for a lovely old cactus or succulent. There are some lovely pots in stores like Oliver Bonas (still delivering before Christmas) or some other ones from smaller stores- have a look on Etsy or Not On The High Street, or in your local shops and garden centres. Bring the outside in, to green up your loved one’s space.
SOCKS! In true Dumbledore fashion, you can never go wrong with socks. Even if they wear them with their hair scrunched up in a messy bun and their chocolate-stained trackies, they’re still useful. Stand4Socks has a fantastic range of novelty socks, as well as donating one pair to shelters, charities, and small communtity groups for every pair sold.
Lastly, if you’re super stumped on what to get someone – let them decide. Gift vouchers are always a great idea that people can use to put towards something they’ll really love. Waterstones for the book lovers, Paperchase for the stationery lovers, you know the drill. Etsy also do gift cards which can be great to support small shops, whilst some other lovely stores with their own websites have brought out gift cards now too, like sighh (my fave store). You can also give vouchers for your favourite local restaurant to support them, especially if you’re in a Tier 3 area and can’t dine in at the mo.
Overall, it’s much better to get someone something they’ll use; it doesn’t have to be super luxurious, especially in a time where a whole lot is wasted. Useful things don’t always have to be boring!
Image courtesy of Ben White.