2022 - Our top 10 ideas for this year’s Christmas Presents
26 Nov 2021
As 2021 draws to an grinding end and the New Year of 2022 sparkles in the lights behind our Christmas trees, it’s definitely been a time of mixed emotions and varying financial situations for many households. Some of have found that they have had a greater spending capacity due to the countless lockdowns however for many it’s been a troubling financial year with dwindling sales and less than ideal business climates. This Christmas, instead of piling on more pressure when it comes to the Christmas shopping and stocking wish lists, here is our list of top ideas to help promote sustainable gifts, relieve some of the worries behind Christmas shopping and ultimately bring back some of that special magic we all need. So here goes, our top 10 ideas for this year’s Christmas presents are:
1) In a year when there has never been more focus on sustainability and creating circular economies. This is a great time to support the local non-profit Let’s Make Cyprus Green – a wonderful initiative aimed at encouraging waste reduction, responsible waste disposal, and eliminating the use of non-essential plastics. You can support this award-winning organization by buying a loved one a gift membership to support their hard efforts of creating a cleaner and healthier island. You can also check out the Eco Shop on their website where you can find stainless steels straws including our new fav the retractable (telescope) straws, reusable stainless steel water bottles, shopping bags and more.
2) Vouchers… yes you read right, vouchers! Sounds simple and obvious, but something we forget about when envisaging the bulking presents under the tree commonly associated with Christmas images. Easily bought online and available from pretty much every store, shop or service you can think of. 2020 and 2021 have been the years of e-shop, and online services, skyrocketing and the boom has led to platforms such as zoom and others making even coaching readily available. So do a little delving if you don’t already know your loved ones favourites stores, and try to support local where possible. I you live in Cyprus, here are a few tips which will definitely be appreciated from our side as well as our team of locally based staff; Serenity Spa voucher, St Raphael Resort and Tower voucher, Golden Monkey Thai Restaurant voucher and Sailor’s Rest Lounge Bar Restaurant voucher.
3) Who doesn’t love a little bit of jewellery at Christmas? And that doesn’t mean you have to break your bank account to get it. Local charity Alkionides sells handmade jewellery created by one of its members for affordable prices on average ranging between €20-50. You can contact them or find them in local stores like KULT, and in case you are looking for more options including glitzy chains for masks, delicate bracelets for adults and kids, necklaces and more, check out Bead Peaceful on Instagram, also made locally yet available for shipping worldwide.
4) Talking of small local businesses, the world is still in need of plenty of masks with regulations and restrictions tightening in many countries as Christmas looms closer. Masks can be found everywhere but do try to support locally made, reusable masks when you can. In Cyprus, we have the pleasure of having companies like Jules Dort, Mamie tricote (julesdortmamietricote.com) which also sell personalised aprons, t-shirts, teething necklaces for new mums, baby bloomers and more. Definitely work checking out and order early as they are all bespoke with many items using Liberty fabric and priced very reasonably.
5) For the more studious recipients, a fabulous gift is one of knowledge. Learning and expanding our minds has never been easier, and there are so many courses out there that are flexible with time and deadlines. Most large universities like Cambridge and Cornell offer online courses, and again looking towards our own local market there are examples such as this Larnaca based plant-based course (www.activatedveganseminars.com), which you can enjoy online for a very reasonable price.
6) Subscriptions... Who doesn’t have a subscription to something these days? Well, this is a pretty sustainable and useful gift as the recipients may already be subscribing, so you are sure to be getting them something useful (for example to pay for their Netflix or Apple Music) or you could buy them a yoga subscription with studios like yogiapproved.com or indabayoga.com. Again, keeping it local, there are many personal trainers who now offer online workouts as well as one-to-one tuition, so you could find someone you know or who has been recommend in your home town and use their services as a gift for your loved ones. For Limassol, don’t forget to check out our very own PT here.
7) Many countries now have a form of boxing up and selling unwanted fruits and vegetables from suppliers, and in Cyprus we have the amazing Rescued Box company founded last year. You can order weekly or bi-weekly boxed of varying amounts and this makes for a fantastic Christmas present to be remembered throughout the coming months or year. Imagine giving someone their weekly, or even once a month, fruit and vegetables supply... they won’t be forgetting you in a hurry, that’s for sure.
8) On the subject of consumables, it’s also a great time of year to support local businesses who create delicious treats like cupcakes, cookies, homemade jams, biscuits, teas, cakes, Christmas cakes and more. One of our favourites locally is Healthy Delicious and there are so many others than have sprung up recently including Anny’s Kitchen, Eysian Plant based Café, Vegan4Life and more. If you are living somewhere else, do check out your local neighbourhood creators and there are also many local wineries all over the world that are great to support, especially at Christmas time when vino goes hand in had with the festive celebrations. This year, we are loving going blue, with the local winery... and their unique blue wine!
9) Finally, as great as it is to look to the clouds for sustainable gifts, sometime we all like time away from the screen and something tangible to hold, and there’s nothing more pleasing to one’s eyes than to read an actual paper publication. Magazines like ‘Newsweek’, ‘The Economist’, ‘National Geographic’ or even ‘Hello’ are lovely gifts for those who enjoy the topics and especially for those who live alone, to help people get off line and have an actual object to hold and appreciate. For those who like cooking, recipe books are always useful and if you haven’t grabbed your copy already, please do check out ’40 Delicious Vegan Recipes’ from Cook Vegan, and there are also many children’s and philosophical books sold in many local churches, especially in Cyprus and for those browsing check out ‘What a Colourful World’ by Georgina Harris Hill supporting Pamoja Leo helping children in Tanzania find loving homes.
10) And our Number Ten suggestion leaves you with the most important part of Christmas giving – to support any charity close to your heart and of course the environment. This can be done by countless measures, but one great way is to buy someone a tree, whether for their own garden or by donating to a local forestry commission. You could send money or sponsor a child in so many different parts of the world (Malaika is a great organisation to support if you don’t already know it). You could adopt an endangered animal through platforms like WFF or more. And please do leave comments below for others to enjoy if you have more ideas and suggestions.
So we leave you with this ending thought; to be creative! Give, love and be positive. Christmas is not all about money and presents under the tree, the core is so much deeper than that and there’s never been a more crucial time to remember that we too, every single one of us, must give back. So where possible, ditch the plastic and useless junk, buy local, support those in need in anyway you can and one last bonus idea could be to upcycle anything you have at home, reposition it in the world, change it, modify it, show it some love and pass it on. Find your talents, make a painting, write a poem, make your own Christmas cards, and shower yourself with love as well as others.
Peace and Positivity to you all.
Merry Christmas xxx