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How To Practice Values-Based Gift-Giving This Holiday Season

values based giving
Courtesy of Lore Schodts on Unsplash.

The holiday season is officially upon us! With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, people begin frantically purchasing gifts for Christmas, especially with the enticing Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. 

While purchasing and giving gifts at Christmas time is a joy to some, it can be a chore to others. Not to mention, excessive gift giving leads to not only wasteful spending, but more waste in the environment as well. And, research shows that it really is the thought that counts when it comes to gift-giving, so why not find some gifts that take into account your commitment to making the world a better place?

Want to take a different approach on Christmas gifts this year? In this blog post, we’ll explore values-based gift-giving, and list a few Christmas gift options that are a bit more ethical for the environment, and your wallet.

What is values-based gift giving? 

Values-based giving is giving people gifts that align with their values and needs, instead of just giving gifts for the sake of the holiday. This approach to holiday gifts is more impactful because you are choosing to spend your money in a powerful way by choosing more meaningful gifts for your loved ones. Values-based gifts are generally more thoughtful, more personal, and make a bigger impact in their lives. 

Ethically-conscious gifts to give this year 


Make a donation in your loved one’s name to their favorite philanthropy

  • This gift is a no-brainer, and probably one of the most values-based gifts to give! If your loved one is passionate about a certain cause in their community, making a donation in their name to their favorite nonprofit or charity organization is a fantastic Christmas present. Not only does it align with the values of your loved one, but it helps out a local charity during the holidays. If you need a place to start, check out this list of charities accepting donations this holiday season.

Purchase products made out of recycled or secondhand materials 

  • Items made out of recycled materials are great sustainable gifts. Beauty products packaged in recycled materials, sustainably-designed clothes, and biodegradable stationery are all ideas for your eco-friendly loved one. Though these items often come at a higher price tag for being manufactured out of secondhand materials, they are worth the extra time and effort you took to pick them out.

Consider refurbished or pre-loved items

  • Looking to go big or go home? If you are thinking about purchasing bigger items like a TV, gaming system, or bicycle for someone, consider purchasing refurbished or secondhand. There is a surplus of great-condition electronics that end up in landfills when they have plenty of use left in them! If you do want to purchase brand-new products, perhaps look into shopping at a local store.

Create something from scratch! 

  • DIY gifts are perfect for the crafty or artsy gift givers! There is a long list of DIY gifts to choose from, and while potentially time-consuming, are heartwarming and well-received. These gifts can include homemade candles, handmade soap, curated photo albums, crocheted or knitted blankets, fresh Christmas wreaths: the list goes on! DIY gift-giving is incredibly thoughtful and a great way to make your holiday gift-giving a more personal experience for your loved ones.

Bake something yummy

  • No explanation is necessary— everyone loves receiving sweet treat gifts during the holidays! Holiday baking is great fun during the winter months, and holiday treat boxes make fantastic gifts for anyone with a sweet tooth! On the other hand, if your loved one is a baking or cooking fanatic, check out this ethical gift guide for chefs and bakers.

Shop local and support small businesses 

  • While bigger chains like Amazon, Walmart, and Target have convincing holiday deals on this year’s top gifts, there is nothing like shopping local during the holidays. The bigger franchises are great for convenience, but not great for the environment or the success of local shops. This is an opportunity to not only find more unique gifts for your loved ones, but take your gift-giving to the next level by simultaneously giving back to your community. Instead of opening your Amazon app, take a trip to local boutiques, neighborhood bookstores, local yarn and fabric stores, and community bike shops to find presents.

Give the gift of education or experience

  • Not all gifts have to be wrapped to be enjoyed— step out of your gift giving comfort zone and give the gift of experience, or education! These experiences can align directly with the values of your loved ones and can create fun family memories when you do the activities together. Gifting local cooking or photography courses, dance classes, art seminars, a day at the movies, or tickets to a concert or an amusement park all are thoughtful gifts that show you went the extra mile.
     

Wrap your gifts sustainably

  • It’s known that the art of wrapping gifts is a recycling nightmare, and this is only heightened during the holiday season. Luckily, there are ways you can sustainably wrap your gifts this year, if you’re willing to roll your sleeves up and get creative. To take the eco-conscious route when wrapping presents, avoid the aluminum or foil wrapping paper options as they are hard to recycle. If you can, find paper-based wrapping paper made from recycled materials. To take it one step further, why not branch out and wrap gifts with recycled newspapers or magazines? They will make your gifts look unique and stand out against other presents. 

Happy Holidays!

At Design TLC, we’re always looking for ways to give back to our communities and be good stewards of the environment. We hope these gift-giving suggestions help guide you in your shopping this holiday season!

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