I’m thinking about giving more meaningful presents.
I often find myself giving generic gifts – an ornament, a jewellery box – to my friends. I have a bit of trouble coming up with individual and meaningful gifts, even to people I know well. I do have a bright idea on occasion: I’m giving a friend left-handed scissors for her birthday this April, which is something she wants but can never find. And, of course, in buying products I’m potentially contributing to the exploitation of workers and resources.
Birthdays, holidays and other special occasions are of great importance to me, as are my friends and family and lessening my negative impact on this world. So I’m going to start giving with a dose of ideology. My criteria is that at least one gift per person for the next year must be one of the following:
- Homemade (like the famous scarf),
- A donation to a cause I think they’d like to support or know they already do,
- Otherwise supportive of such a cause or
- Candle/light related, in order to encourage and bring light into their lives
So perhaps I’ll make a woollen scissors cover for my leftie friend. Or a donation to World Vision on behalf of my Christian friend who likes their work. Or candles for my lovely poetry buddy who needs the light of inspiration.
I’ve done some cursory research on feminist/ethical/very small business-made/fair trade gifts online.
- Feministing had a holiday gift guide not too long ago.
- There’s always the smile-inducing Etsy.
- I found the Australian-based site Wishcraft, which is ethnically-focussed and fair trade.
- The stylish ibuTrade site works along similar lines.
What do you think?