The Charitable Gift
For many of us, Christmas all about friends and family, but that’s not the case for everyone. Here’s an almost unbelievable statistic for you: one million older people in the UK haven’t spoken to anyone for a month. A £20 donation pays for them to spend a day at their local Age UK and enjoy a hot lunch – it’s not a lot is it? Or £21.62 reserves a place for a homeless person with Crisis this Christmas – giving them three hot meals a day, access to housing and employment advice and the chance to shower and change clothes.
The festive period is a time when people can feel lonely, depressed and desperate; just £4 answers one call, text or email for help from Samaritans this Christmas. Alternatively, choose to support a wishlist; pick winter clothes for a child, textbooks or emergency food thanks to Save The Children. Or why not buy a gift for a woman or child via domestic violence charity Refuge – choose from a range of toys, baby clothes or beauty products.
The Monthly Gift
One-off gifts are all well and good, but a subscription gift is just a little better – it means a present every single month! And quite frankly, who doesn’t love a parcel to unwrap each month? And yes, there’s a subscription to suit all ages, tastes and budgets. Not-Another-Bill’s package is one that would appeal to pretty much anyone at all – it includes one carefully-curated surprise gift (accessories, homewares, artworks – you name it!) from unusual and interesting designers, brands and creatives. They definitely won’t be disappointed.
For foodies, there’s Cocoa Runners’ independent gourmet chocolates, freshly roasted beans and blends via Pact Coffee or even SimplyCook’s recipe kits. Bookworms will be delighted to receive a year of P.G. Wodehouse books, a beautiful novel each month from independent publishing house Persephone Books or perhaps a monthly Bookishly tea/vintage book/stationery pack? We’re going to make a sexist assertion and state that men are ALWAYS hard to buy for. Why not choose a monthly delivery of colourful socks, handpicked craft beers or organic skincare? Done. And if all else fails, everyone likes new and delicious gins and fresh flowers.
The Other Charitable Gift
Indulgent and pampering, beauty gifts are always welcome at Christmas. And these charitable gifts are even better! Nourish parched winter skin with Lush’s charity pot; 100% of the price of this super-hydrating moisturiser supports charities in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights. One of our favourite bathing indulgences is Aromatherapy Associates’ Inner Strength Bath and Shower Oil. Available in full-sized and dinky star-shaped versions, 10% of proceeds are given to a charity helping to pioneer new cancer vaccine treatment.
Beauty fans will love MAC’s gorgeous Viva Glam lipsticks; created by Rihanna, the full RRP helps women, men and children everywhere affected by HIV/AIDS. Bobbi Brown’s Pretty Powerful Campaign funds nonprofits around the world providing women and girls with educations – and £1 is donated from the price of every Pretty Powerful Mascara.
This Because is a one-stop shop for every kind of charitable, ethical and frankly wonderful gift you can think of. For the men in your life, there’s sunglasses that help other people see, headphones that help other people hear and shaving sets that support war veterans. Your mum/sister/best friend will love stylish silk scarves which improve literacy, cushions sewn by prisoners or stacking rings handmade by women in Rwanda. Pot luck present? Get them one of This Because’s fantastic hampers, a jar of delicious charitable chutney or some small-batch gin which helps save elephants!
The Cultural Gift
An experience might not be the most interesting gift to unwrap, but it’s a present that’s sure to bring pleasure all year long. A National Art Pass makes for a really thoughtful offering, giving free and discounted entry to museums and art galleries across the UK. Londoners might enjoy membership of the Tate, becoming a friend of the Royal Academy or visiting the Victoria & Albert museum more regularly.
Movie buffs will certainly enjoy membership of the arty Picturehouse cinemas, and the Marilyn or Brando memberships at the Everyman cinemas will certainly make them smile! And then there’s Theatre Tokens, an Rdio subscription or tickets to the Summer Proms. And who wouldn’t enjoy dinner and theatre for two?