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Guide to Ethical Gift Giving at Christmas

What do you want for Christmas? have you heard of ethical gift giving?

The older I become, the more I wish for health and peace. As beautiful as material things can be, they won’t make me happy if I get sick or someone who I love passes away. At the end of the day, it’s the feelings, emotions, and memories that you’ll remember when you think back.

With Christmas season the struggle gets even more real. I discovered Furoshiki when 90% of my gifts were already wrapped in a paper. I would love to give second-hand presents, but I know my friends. Most of them would get offended because they don’t want to wear or use things after someone. I have to accept that what’s OK for me, may not be acceptable for someone else. The same applies to gifts that you make. Some people may consider it “cheap.” As much as we tried to do ethical gift giving this Christmas season, it was a minefield.

To give you some ideas on how to do this Christmas more ethically, I want to share with you the Ethical hierarchy of gift purchasing. Even if you aren’t able to follow it this year, save it for next time when you are deciding what to give someone. I believe that we have to start slow – step by step – dramatic changes to lifestyle usually bring us back to our old ways.

Here are some ideas that I like:

GIVE YOUR TIME – dedicate time to doing something with your partner that he/she enjoys doing (cooking, going to church, cinema, going for a walk or to a gym, etc.)

MAKE – toys, clothes (sew or knit), accessories or bake Christmas cookies or a cake. All you need is one good idea. Pinterest and Etsy are my favorite sites where I look for inspiration and creative ideas.

UPCYCLE – use your creativity to reform an old product into a new one. You can find some ideas here or watch how I made Christmas stars from paper sandwich bags.

What is the difference between upcycling and recycling?

In the recycling process, items are broken down to be reused while 
upcycling is a creative process where waste is looked at as a resource. 

Source: UpCycle That
ethical gift/upcycle/currently wearing

image ©
ethical gift giving/christmas/currently wearing

What do you think about this ethical hierarchy of gift giving? Did you buy or make your gifts? Do you give memories instead of things?