It is the most wonderful time of the year! Sit up straight, crank up the volume, bring out everything sparkly and shiny, watch Home Alone and The Holiday back-to-back, make that big mug of mulled wine and get your groove on, because ‘tis the season to be jolly!
If you sang along, then you are already in the holiday spirit! But as we get ready to deck up the tree and string up the fairy lights, let us take a moment to think about all that comes as excess baggage to our joy this time of the year – the plastic tinsel, the single-use partyware, the lustrous foil wrapping paper, the hard-to-resist deals on cute Christmas keepsakes, the excessive wastage of food, and the big plastic tree.
Then there are the gifts.
According to the United Nations, each year, about 11 million metric tons of plastic waste end up in water bodies. Over the next two decades, that number is expected to triple. India alone generates 3.6 million tonnes of plastic waste. And around the festive season, this pile only grows further. Being conscious and mindful while buying Christmas presents is a non-negotiable today because of the planetary crisis of climate disruption, nature and biodiversity loss, pollution, and waste. And, as we will discover, doing the right thing is also rewarding and delightful!
This holiday season, allow us to be Eco-Santas for you as we help you choose gifts that are as beautiful as they are responsible, so you can have guilt-free celebrations.
Our list of handpicked gifts has been carefully curated to suit all budgets, all gifts are sustainable and mindfully made, and are high on the design quotient making them a joy to give and receive.
So, dive in!
Gifts Under Rs. 500
They say it’s the thought that counts! It does, but sometimes it’s even better to think twice. Reckless buying of holiday gifts leads to them being tossed away and adding to the waste. The surest way of making sure your gift is useful is to give the gift of choice. A gift card from sustainable marketplaces like Brown Living or Amala Earth is a great idea, especially if you are on a budget, as the recipient can pick their own zero-waste gift hampers.
We also love the set of ornaments in seed paper by Toyroom that can be coloured, embellished, hung on your tree and then planted! And at Rs. 350 for the set, they are a steal! Or look up Okhai’s hand-embroidered ornaments in cotton fabric.
Gifts Under Rs. 2000
Encourage your loved ones to kickstart their sustainable journey with the gift of starter eco-friendly boxes by Verth or one of the beautiful Zero Waste festive gift bundles by Bare Necessities. This carefully curated box, at Rs. 1099, makes for a thoughtful gift!
If you want to gift something warm and cozy, choose pre-loved fashion. Thrift stores like Rerunn or Panda Picked Store (both on Instagram) are sure to have something that will catch your fancy. Or you can explore more options here.
Meanwhile, Phool continues to come up with delightful ideas, the latest being their range of winter gift boxes. And since we love everything red this time of the year, we are loving this stunning Jumbo Winter Giftbox, packed with candles, socks, dry fruits and more, originally at Rs. 1795, now (at the time of writing) available at Rs 1255. You don’t want to miss this one!
Gifts Between Rs. 2000 – Rs. 5000
Stories bring people together and words inspire change! So, this Christmas, get creative with these unusual finds that are as meaningful as they are attractive and fun!
Start by checking out the exquisite festive The Makers Box (Rs. 2000) by OriginOne and Champaca’s delightful Christmas Gift Box (Rs. 2599) that bundles Pulitzer-award winning fiction with stationery by Tara Books, making it a gift to cherish.
Or play Secret Santa With The Big Book Box (multiple options of gift amounts) and spread some joy, cheer and surprises! There is no better way to ring in the new year than by escaping to beautiful, imaginary worlds while curling up together!
There is nothing quite like receiving a curated gift box packed with goodies. We think the gorgeous Vanyaksetram Gift Box (Rs. 4475) filled with personal care products by Forest Essentials checks all the boxes.
As does Armatuer’s stunning Coming Home To You This Christmas Gift Box (Rs. 2500) made up of candles and ornaments. Spoiler alert – You can lose hours browsing Armatuer’s Christmas Village that has many lovely surprises!
You can also show you care with the Bombay Hemp Company’s Box of Wellbeing (Rs. 4499), packed with the goodness of hemp, or handcrafted soy wax candles from AW Apothecary.
Pair these with Black Baza’s 6 Parcels Subscription (Rs. 2400) if they love coffee or the enchanting 24 Teas Of Christmas Gift Set (Rs. 2999) by Vahdam, if they prefer tea, and we can promise you a jolly good Christmas gift for sure!
Gifts Between Rs. 5000 – Rs. 10000
If it is tree ornaments that you are looking to gift, avoid those shiny plastic baubles and choose handmade pieces by local artisans. Our favourite is the Yuletide Wooden Handcrafted Decorations Combo Pack (Rs. 6200) by Indic Inspirations, made by the artisans of Channapatna woodcraft.
The end of the year is also a time of reflection, slowing down and pampering yourself and your loved ones. The Home Spa Bundle (Rs. 7495) by Clay Essentials or the Spectacular Natural Phenomena Hamper (Rs. 6499) by Loopify, stuffed with wax candles, organic tea, bath salts and more, paired with Araku Coffee’s Emerald Gift Box (Rs. 5800), with coffee and a matching set of a Moka pot and espresso cups, make for the most indulgent gift of care!
Gifts Above Rs. 10,000
You can add your own flair to your gifts by creating customised hampers from the exquisite finds above. Or, when in doubt, choose sustainable fashion!
Go for the festive Gurhal Co-Ord Set (Rs. 14,380) from Jodi for her and Studio Beej’s Legend Hamper (Rs. 10,350) handcrafted in FSC cork for him, or the unisex Zira Shirt Dress (Rs. 12,500) from Nete for the perfect Christmas ensemble for them.
If you want to do something totally different, gift an experience like a Vacation With An Artist by VAWAA, a gift of an apprenticeship with master artists that is available in various budgets and promises to be a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn, travel, explore and grow.
Because the best gifts are those that are thoughtful, experiential and make the receiver feel special!
Gifts That Are Priceless!
We often think too much and panic at the thought of buying fancy and expensive gifts. This year, just show up, make a call to someone you have not spoken with, cook something together, go out for a meal or just make a handmade card.
Or, you can choose to donate in their name. Many non-profits and charity organizations depend on the end-of-year donations, and the holidays can be the perfect time to make an impact on behalf of someone you love.
Christmas Comes But Once In A Year, But When It Comes It Brings Good Cheer!
It brings us puddings, it brings us pies. It brings us everything that’s nice!
But what else does it bring?
A lot of waste!
A few moments of the pleasure of unwrapping a gift lead to a mountain of leftover boxes, embellishments, plastic and paper! Avoid using disposable wrapping paper that are often made in plastic. And discover the same joy of unboxing and unwrapping by choosing the Furoshiki style of wrapping, re-using bags you already have at home or packing your gifts in re-usable boxes.
In our last Christmas story, we shared some simple yet amazing tips to make your Christmas green and merry. Mix up those ideas with gift options from this blog, and you should be able to stay away from Santa’s naughty list!
The Last Word
They say Christmas is a feeling and we agree! This special time at the end of the year is about coming together with the family, observing old traditions and making new ones, or just sitting back and unwinding with your friends in cozy pajamas.
As we step into the new year, instead of mindless buying, let us count our blessings and enjoy the gift of togetherness. Cheers to a merry, joyous, and green Christmas!