Fa-la-la, y’all! Christmas is coming. Mention this factoid in a mixed group right now, and one is liable to elicit reactions ranging from gleeful excitement to naked terror–with an individual’s feelings largely contingent on how much progress they’ve made on their holiday shopping. There are, of course, plenty of people who celebrate other festive occasions at this time of year, or none at all. This is not a post for you, dear readers. This is a post for everyone who realizes that it is the middle of December, and, tragically, Santa isn’t really going to take care of everyone on your list without a little help!
Whether you have an earth-friendly, green-lovin’ friend or family member who eschews the normal type of gift one buys at the mall, or you yourself want to lead by example and shower your loved ones with more conscientious presents, this is meant to help. The imminent holiday season shouldn’t be one filled with stress, nor should you settle for gifts that a.) you aren’t comfortable giving, or b.) your recipient isn’t going to love. Hopefully, after reading this, your Yuletide will be a little more laid-back!
Green Christmas Gifts for Your Loved Ones
The obvious choice when it comes to “green” gifting is to choose something that supports your recipient’s eco-friendly lifestyle. Think: BPA-free water bottles, cool accessories for your giftee’s bicycle (a comfier seat! a spiffy basket! a jaunty bell!), a dozen reusable grocery bags in fun colors, or a digital subscription to their favorite magazine. If your recipient is a generally health-conscious person, consider a gorgeous organic yoga mat (the ones at Manduka are to die for, and this coupon queen loves their frequent discounts for e-mail subscribers), or a set of essential oils in heavenly scents meant to soothe… not drown in a chemical stink! How about a vegan cookbook for a buddy who’s receptive to the idea of cutting back on meat, but hasn’t a clue what to make for dinner?
Have a bestie who’s a total fashion plate? Consider fun necklaces or purses constructed of recycled materials for someone free-spirited, or a gorgeous palette of cruelty-free cosmetics for the gal whose taste is a bit more sophisticated. Lest you think that you can’t have the best of both worlds and enjoy popular brands AND greater environmental conscientiousness, know that even Levi’s has gotten in the game with their Water<Less line. Celebrating greener fashion need not mean wearing a hemp sack after all!
There are more earth-friendly options for the kiddos on your Christmas list, too. Your littlest loved ones can benefit from cloth diapers made of plush organic cotton. Cloth diapers nowadays are a marvel of form and function… you just won’t believe how cute they are! Having preschoolers myself, I get a kick out of any “typical” play item that’s rendered in a modern, green way… check out these chalk sticks, which derive their vivid colors from vegetable juices! Bigger kids can explore the wonders of the world around them with science-y gifts from the Discovery Store. I particularly like the dinosaur building kits and astronomy toys over there.
Sometimes the best gifts aren’t something you can wrap and put under the tree. If you want to give a thoughtful gift and save the shipping costs (and the wrapping paper), how about sponsoring a national park or wildlife refuge? A gift of as little as twenty-five dollars can make a big difference to help safeguard the beauty and health of the nation’s wild places, and giving a sponsorship in your loved one’s name can help to get them in on the experience.
As someone who loves to shop–and I mean really–I always consider Christmas a fantastic challenge to score something perfect for everyone special in my life. After all, receiving presents is fun … but nothing holds a candle to making someone’s day with a really amazing present. There’s a wealth of options out there for this year’s “greenie” holiday shoppers, and plenty to ensure that every eco-friendly good boy and girl out there gets just what they deserve. Happy holidays!