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Gifts That Give Back: Spreading Holiday Cheer with Heartfelt Presents

Feeling stressed about what to buy for your loved ones this festive season? Don’t let the pressure get to you – after all, ’tis the season to be jolly. Ditch your usual shopping list and consider gifting with a meaningful twist this year.

1. Donate or contribute to a charity of their choice

Paying it forward is always a good idea, and if your recipient is on board with it, there’s no better time than this festive season to make a donation in their name to a charity of their choice. The festive period can be tough on some more than others. Instead of agonising over what gift to get, you can save yourself the trouble and potentially make someone’s day (or month!) instead. Win-win!

It doesn’t even have to be monetary – check if your loved one would like to spend some quality time together volunteering for a worthy cause. There are countless NGOs that always need an extra helping hand – from bringing cheer to those in nursing homes, to helping out at an animal shelter or feeding some hungry tummies at a soup kitchen.

2. Spice up quality time with the people that matter

Been spending a lot of time at work and not seeing the fam? Seize the opportunity this festive period and pamper your loved ones with a bonding activity that will warm the cockles of their heart.

Get creative with your kid by crafting your very own winter forest jar that will have you going falalalala. Got a sweet tooth? Bring a buddy along and bake to your hearts’ content with one of these Christmas-themed baking classes. Here are some other activities you can consider:

Gifting with the environment in mind

Nothing says you’re here for the long run more than a sustainable gift for that special someone. Whatever you have in mind as a gift, try looking for that item made using a more eco-friendly or biodegradable material. Don’t know where to start? Here are some ideas:

  • Instead of plastic bento boxes, get one that’s made from rice husks or bamboo, like this SG50 commemorative tingkat carrier.
  • Know someone who’s a budding home chef? Help them reduce their usage of single-use plastics such as cling wrap or Ziploc bags by gifting them these cute beeswax food wraps.

3. Switch out your wrapping paper

Nothing beats the sight of beautifully wrapped presents under a Christmas tree, but spare a thought for the environment this festive season and make the eco-conscious choice. While paper is recyclable, wrapping paper may not be, due to the glitter and shiny foil. Consider switching to biodegradable wrapping paper (and no, they don’t only come in brown). If you’re artsy, put a personal spin to your gifts by decorating with dried flowers, fruits or sprigs of herbs instead of ribbons.

4. Give them a much-needed R&R

Does your loved one work in a high-stress environment? Has the word “burnout” been mentioned more than once? You can give them the best gift ever by whisking them off to an all-expenses paid activity that will leave them in a jolly mood, just in time for Christmas!

Splurge on a spa to score some serious brownie points or sign them up for a soothing yoga retreat. Better yet, surprise them with a staycation, because who doesn’t love one?

5. Break the stigma

Mental health can be a touchy topic and given the prevailing stigma in Asian cultures, most people might be slow to seek help. So if someone who is struggling has confided in you, give them the access to seek professional help – whether it’s paying for online therapy through an app matching therapists with clients or signing up for a subscription service on a meditation app to help them declutter their mind.

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