Christmas is the time to enjoy a spot of indulgence. However, it’s also a time to show our appreciation to friends and family and extend kindness and generosity to those who are less fortunate.
In recent years, Christmas traditions of gift giving and laying on a feast became caught up in capitalist spirals of over-consumption. Thankfully we are now experiencing pushback against excess, wasteful consumption. Increasingly, people are looking to celebrate in ways that respect the core values of Christmas which include hope, solidarity, generosity, and hospitality.
We’ve put together the ultimate Give Back Christmas Gift Guide 2021 full of brilliant unique gift ideas that your loved ones will cherish and which also give back to fantastic causes. These are the gifts that keep on giving!
What to give the person who has everything?
We all have that one friend who has everything. And as much a nicely wrapped candle will be appreciated, it can feel like a present for the sake of it. Consider donating to a cause close to their heart instead. Not only will a gift like this make a meaningful impact in the world, it shows you know and care about the causes that matter most to them.
Choose Love is a brilliant charity which allows the public to buy much needed supplies for refugees from as little as £5. Choose from a wide range of products from essential wash supplies to life-saving sea rescue equipment. Alternatively, provide your friend with a gift card which allows the recipient to choose the product for themselves. And how about sharing the news of your donation in a beautiful, ethically made charity gift card? Royal Trinity Hospice have a great selection.
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Festive gifts for the fashion lover
Charity fashion collaborations are a great way to give back whilst getting your hands on limited run, sustainable designer garments at a more accessible price. (Though with proceeds going to worthwhile causes, there is no need to feel guilty about splashing out!) A few of our favourites include Bella Freud’s Peace and Love T-shirt which donates the proceeds of the £25 top to supporting the work of War Child UK. The Michael Kors super chic Watch Hunger Stop LOVE T-shirt (£30) is guaranteed to be a hit with any fashion loving friend and 100% of proceeds are donated to children in need via the United Nations World Food Programme. Charity Shops can also be a brilliant way to buy sustainably whilst giving back.
Take some time to discover the charity shops in your area and visit regularly to keep an eye out for vintage treasures and bargain buys. Consider giving the gift of your time by volunteering in your local charity shop. You will be the first to know about vintage and designer items when they arrive too!
Meaningful and sustainable gifts for children
Steer away from single-use, craze-led plastic toys and all the accompanying excess packaging and think carefully before buying more fast-fashion children’s clothes that will quickly be outgrown. Instead, choose more conscious, lasting gifts from sustainable childrenwear and toy makers. Cuddle + Kind is an amazing family run business supporting underprivileged children around the world through the sale of their beautiful hand-knitted dolls. For every doll sold, Cuddle + Kind donate 10 meals to children in need. What’s more, aach doll is lovingly handcrafted by women artisans in Nepal and Peru who are paid a fair income to support their families.
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Adopting an animal is another great gift idea that can inspire a more sustainable future by teaching children about important conservation work and the value of ongoing charitable support. WWWF offer a range of options that include an adoption certificate, cuddly toy, educational information and regular updates throughout the year. Options range from pandas to penguins and start at a one off £36 donation or can be set up as a regular contribution.
Treat your loved ones to an extra special festive feast
Hosting your Christmas get-together with Social Pantry goes further than simply investing in great Christmas catering – it is a way of investing in the lives of the ex-offenders we work with! Social Pantry is the leading employer of ex-offenders in hospitality and works closely with local prisons and charities to offer ex-offenders a second chance at life. At any time, our team consists of up to 10% ex-offenders. Our goal for 2022 is to invest even more in this side of what we do. This Christmas, for every Christmas party hosted in our private café spaces, we’ll offer one ex-offender a work taster day in our kitchen through our charity partner Key4Life. By choosing Social Pantry for your Christmas get-together, you provide an ex-offender with an invaluable opportunity to gain experience and skills needed to work towards future secure employment in hospitality. You could even ask your guests to make a donation to our partner charities in lieu of bringing a physical gift – especially when you can be sure the party will already be well catered for!
Get in touch with our café teams to find out more about Christmas party bookings at the cafe, or our events catering team if you’d like us to bring the Christmas feast to you! Happy ethical Christmas shopping too!