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A Christmas gift with a difference…

Here we go again! Christmas is almost upon us, and it’s the usual time of present buying frenzy. I don’t know about you, but it can be a real chore deciding what to buy friends and family and I do get so fed up of the usual materialistic route.

This year, would you prefer to give a gift to a friend with more of a personal touch?

Is money tight this year and you cannot afford to buy expensive presents for all your friends?

Would you prefer to follow a more ethical route and support a worthwhile cause?

For whatever reason, we don’t all want to spend, spend, spend, so here are a few suggestions of alteratives:

Make your own 

home made cakeDo you sew, cook or paint? Could you make a friend a delicious cake, some chutney, sew a lavender bag or paint a picture? Or make a tape of favourite music.

Offer a treat

Instead of a present, offer a treat. Why not take your friend out for the day? Go for a walk, buy her a coffee and cake or make up a special picnic. Drive her to the coast and have fish and chips on the beach.

Buy local

Independent shops and local Christmas fetes often offer individual gifts with a difference, helping a local charity or helping someone who is just starting out with a new business.

Look online

There are lots of individually made gifts online. Etsy.com and Not on the High Street offer gifts made by independent artists.

Buy ethical

Ethical companies such as Green Tulip, Amnesty shop or Shared Earth offer delightful handmade gifts from around the world. Or go to Oxfam, Send a Cow, Mary’s Meals if you wish to sponsor a child, an animal or buy someone a goat. Lend with Care is an innovative scheme where you lend money to someone who is trying to set up a small business in their local country.  goat    

Buy second hand

Agree to buy second hand presents with a theme. A friend of mine chooses a theme eg anything red and all her friends hunt the charity shops for an original present that is red. It‘s a lot of fun and can be really inventive.

Offer to do a job

Offer to do a job for someone instead. If they are really busy, can’t take any breaks, they may love someone to tidy up their garden for them, to offer an evening of babysitting or to cook their tea one night.

Make use of vouchers and loyalty cards

If you need to save money, use your Tesco clubcard points to buy a gift or hunt out voucher sites such as Groupon for special offers.

Or of course you could buy them a togetherfriends subscription!