3. Give homemade and homegrown gifts!

As the holiday season approaches we are all encouraged to shop, shop, shop – but we should be encouraged to reduce, reuse, recycle! In two previous posts I have written about giving the gifts of help and support as well as good feelings and good times!  There are certain situations though where you may feel you really have to give an actual item.  If you want those gifts to be eco-friendly without costing the earth, then avoid all the green washing and buy secondhand, make or grow gifts!

Houseplants make a great gift and can often be grown from ones you own yourself.  At this time of year everyone spends a lot more time indoors and less fresh air is allowed to circulate around their homes.  Plants can be invaluable in helping to purify the air and some plants such as aloe vera also have a wide variety of uses!

Homemade food – I’m not thinking of large boxes of chocolates, rather food that will come in useful at this time of year such as:

Octopus energy
  • Christmas puddings and mince pies – these could be a great gift for those hosting lunches and dinners this festive season.
  • Unusual dips, sauces, jams and chutneys – they will flavour your friends and families meals for months to come – they may take a bit of pre-planning though (maybe an idea for next year)!
  • Soup and croutons – I love my newly discovered challah croutons and think they would make a delicious gift (I may be a little biased though)
  • Biscuits such as gingerbread men could be displayed in a large clear upcycled glass jar with a recipe rolled up in the center

For the bathroom – It is very easy to make your own bath salts – mix some Epsom salts, sea salt, herbs and / or essential oils of your choosing, store them in a reused glass jar and then the recipient can enjoy a lovely warming herbal bath.  Another nice gift is some homemade pot pourri – add a few drops of essential oil (or infused oil) to some dried rose petals or pine cones and store in a glass jar!

Upcycled – There are loads of ideas for upcycled gifts out there including 18 ways to upcycle old jars,  100+ways to reuse old magazines or 20 tin can crafts.  What do you regularly chuck in the bin/ put out for recycling?  You may be able to make a great upcycled gift from it instead!

For kids – buy secondhand!  The young ones don’t know any different and if you get them used to secondhand gifts as normal from a young age as well as explaining to them why you are buying everything secondhand it is something they will accept as normal.  When they get older if only new will do, then just give them money and let them make their own decisions as to how they spend/ save it.
E-books  – writing an e-book won’t cost you a penny and you could even try selling them online!  You don’t need to write a novel, it could be as simple as a compilation of your favourite recipes, quotes, jokes and / or photos. If you were feeling adventurous you could even make up a kids story featuring yours or close friends and relatives children.
Only ever give what you can afford and at a time that is right for you! Set your limits on how much money you can spend/ time you can offer. Try not to feel pressured into giving things to people because you feel you should at this time of year and consider surprising them with gifts at other times of the year when they are least expecting it instead!
Well that concludes my series on changing the future of gift giving for now (although I’m sure I’ll write more on this topic again at some point). I hope you have enjoyed it!  What gifts do you make or grow? I’d love to hear your comments!
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  1. Awesome collection of post syou have inspired me Zoe! Do coem and link up at family budgeting thrifty christtnas linky !

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