At the risk of sounding like the Christmas Grinch, I don’t actually like Christmas. It’s not that I don’t get into the Christmas spirit, I’m all about spirit, whether it’s Christmas or not. I like the concept of giving to others, peace on earth and all of that. What I have chosen to consciously object to, is the commercialisation of Christmas. You only have to check the mailbox, walk into a shopping centre or turn on the TV and you’re bombarded with things you “need” to buy. Or what? Or people won’t know that you love them?

This year, our families have agreed not to buy each other presents, instead we’re putting the money towards some special treats, for our Christmas lunch. It takes the stress out of finding gifts and saves us from receiving things that may potentially go to waste, no matter how well-meaning they are.

There are plenty of alternative and meaningful gift ideas, if you think outside of the box. Here are my top tips for giving the perfect meaningful gift this Christmas:

1. Time

The old adage that the most precious gift we can give someone is our time, is especially true in today’s fast-paced world.

Offer to baby sit, help your mum with jobs around the house, organise a picnic or special outing, volunteer with a friend at an organisation that has meaning to you, organise a board games night, plan a holiday together, or simply spend time together doing nothing.

Source: Flickr
Source: Flickr

2. DIY

Handmade gifts are extra special because they take time and effort to make. There are plenty of useful DIY gifts you can make that don’t cost the earth. Hit Youtube and learn how to make your own personalised gifts like bath bombs, handmade soaps, candles or a terrarium.

Or you could make your own healthy food gifts, like jars of special tomato sauce, pickles or sauerkraut, bring something special that you wouldn’t have everyday to share for Christmas lunch (we’re having cooked prawns), bake a (gluten and dairy free) Christmas cake, or make this Energy Ball Croquembouche by Not Quite Nigella.

NQN Energy Ball Cake
Source: Not Quite Nigella

3. Support Local

If you just don’t have the time, skills or motivation to make your own gift, then why not support a local, small business? Supporting local businesses helps support the local economy and jobs and encourages a sense of community. There are plenty of great small businesses popping up around Perth with unique and artisan gifts, like The Gourmet Foodie Box from The Wild Ivy Co. (which just happens to include The Cheeky Project Perth’s very own Cheeky Cacao chocolates), something from one of the local designers at Co-Op Designs, some non-toxic home and body care products from Pure Home Body, or a unique piece of hand thrown pottery from Miss Willow Designs.

Cheeky Cacao
Cheeky Cacao now available in The Wild Ivy Co. gift boxes