Today I was reflecting on my last posts and I realised that I only talked about receiving gifts. Of course, I’m not that self-centred and only think of what people can give my family. So, today’s post is about gifts I’m planning to give. Or in other words, gift ideas coming from a minimalist.
My number one gift this year is going to be handmade soaps. After a bit of a hiatus from making soaps, I got back into it. The main reason was that I had a hard time finding good soaps in Sweden. The sidekick is that I can give them as Christmas gifts. I will use local ingredients, goat milk in specific, and craft something that I hope my family and friends will enjoy.
In the line of handmade gifts also fall beeswax food wraps. I’ve made them in the past and people loved them. They are a great alternative to glad wrap in the kitchen. And because I made them myself I made sure to use really original fabric with vibrant colours. If you want to learn how to make your own wraps, I have two classes on Skillshare.com. The beginner’s class teaches you the basics in detail while the advanced class focuses on additional ingredients, aside from the beeswax.
Another project of mine which might come in properly for next year are knitted dishcloths. I only just finished my first ever knitting project, an orange oddly shaped piece with lots of holes, and I’m not confident yet to gift them to anyone. But if you’re more skilled than me, knitted dishcloths are awesome to give.
Something I used to make with my grandma years ago is handmade paper. You can create cards, beautiful letters, pictures, and even paintings. It requires a bit of work but it’s well worth it. You can even incorporate dried flowers if you have them handy. Check out this video to learn how to make paper.
The last idea I want to mention is handmade creams, body butters, scrubs, or deodorant. Depending on the person you’re planning to give it to, you can create something fitting for them specifically. I really enjoy creating new recipes and you can find lots of information on different ingredients here. Just make sure to tailor it to the person (people?) you want to give it to. There’s nothing worse than a skin condition from a Christmas gift.
If you don’t consider yourself crafty enough for any of the above projects or you don’t have the time to make something yourself, there are alternatives: people around you. Depending on your local area, you can go out and find local produce. It might be something like cheese or it could be a specific item for everyday use which is typical for your area. I have found local markets or sales events perfect to find little things that were made in my area. It’s something special you can’t (hopefully) get anywhere else.
Other ideas for local produce are obviously wine or other alcoholic beverages. Or maybe there is another typical drink you can give or recreate as a gift for Christmas. Or maybe you can brew yourself.
I’ll be relying on fish quite a bit this year because Sweden is known for its various forms of herring. There are at least ten different kinds of pickled herring which I can just pick up at the supermarket. I might even dare to bring a tin of fermented herring to the Christmas party.
As you can see, keep your mind open for things from your local area that might even seem mundane to you. Whether it’s food, drinks or any other kind of product, look around what people are making. It’s pretty amazing!
Last but not least I must mention that you can always give experiences. These experiences can range from movie tickets to concerts, or even special dinners. Depending on the person you’re giving to (and the occasion), think of what that person might enjoy, maybe with you. The only piece of advise I have for this type of gift is to try and stick to a budget. Unfortunately, experiences can be very pricey.
If you rather give inside entertainment gifts, why not look into subscriptions like a magazine, a newspaper, books, or movies. My husband will get a yearly subscription to his favourite hiking magazine (don’t tell him though!). And I actually love this kind of gift because it keeps on giving throughout the year.
Well, those are my ideas for a minimal, sustainable, and budget-friendly Christmas. What are you going to give?