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Some thoughts on Christmas Presents

Christmas is coming, and for most of us in the lucky part of the world that means presents. With our planet suffocating beneath plastic waste, we need to think more carefully about giving.

I fall into the category of “hard to buy for” (though a good book* and a beer will always triumph), so I thought I would offer a few suggestions if you are being so kind as to buy me, or anyone like me, a gift.

We love receiving presents, so please don’t read this as a grumpy moan of ingratitude. A surprising, thoughtful present brings much joy.

But we want to save you the anguish of trying to figure out what to buy, the gnawing sense that the main aim is to ‘tick it off’ rather than to actually enjoy giving a gift.

The truth is this: we do not want presents. We certainly do not need presents. We have Amazon Prime accounts. Our lives overfloweth with stuff. What we really need is either more gratitude for how lucky we are, or less stuff. Or, if I can be greedy, both. Neither the giver nor the receiver likes the obvious pointlessness of an unwanted present. In these straitened financial times, with the planet stretched to breaking point, it makes no sense at all.

But for many generous souls, giving nothing is not an option. So I offer these ideas for gifts we would enjoy and receive with gratitude.

  • Bake a cake
  • Write a poem
  • Give a kiss or a hug (or both)
  • Tell a joke
  • Take me for a walk or a run
  • Food we can share together
  • A bottle of quirky beer
  • A worthy book I should read before I die
  • A tree to plant
  • A toilet twin in Africa
  • Something that will make me exercise more
  • Something that will make me get outside more
  • A weekend break somewhere nearby but novel
  • A map to make me dream
  • Membership to a charity that is trying to do good in the world and, in its own way, combat the tide of plastic crap and harmful pointless commercialism that is wrecking our planet, our relationships, our minds.
  • A mince pie

(* – my definitive list of books that make good presents is here.)

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  1. Great idea. The last thing most of use need is more crap but still like to (or feel pressure to) give presents. I think an experience is the best thing you can give – this could be a voucher for something different like an escape room or even better just make plans take them out for a day to do something that they wouldn’t usually do…go geocaching, take them on an easy scramble, show them round your favourite museum

  2. I love this



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