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Gift with Less or No Packaging

Have you ever been frustrated by gifts that come sandwiched between two polystyrene blocks, bound with plastic ties, in a plastic bag, inside a larger cardboard twice the size of the gift itself? Perhaps you’re not sure what to get but know you want one that reduces waste. Whether you’re looking for something unusual to give or want to get more gifts for your budget this list of ideas has something for you.

Re-use packaging

Keeping envelopes and boxes you received, perhaps from your online shopping, and use them to simply wrap your presents. When you reuse envelopes make sure you clearly address them and cover up all old addresses to make sure your present gets to the right place.

Make your own gift wrapping

Wrapping paper and gift bags don’t have to come brand new from a shop, you can make your own or reuse ones from last year, even if you don’t think you are very creative. Here are three simple things you can do:

  • Use newspaper or brown paper, to jazz it up use colourful string or fabric ribbon. You could paint the paper or make patterns using potato shapes (if you don’t remember how, look it up on the internet). To finish it off, add a gift tag made from an old Christmas card.
  • Save gift bags and reuse them. No one will remember the silver gift bag that Aunt Sally gave you a bottle of wine in on your birthday, so use it again
  • Put your presents in other types of packaging. You could buy a big pick and mix, then put it in a glass jar and tie a ribbon round the jar.

Gifts with no packaging

Gifts of Time

It’s the thought that counts. Your time is very precious so time makes a great gift to give someone you care about. When you give your time you can still create an attractive gift for them to unwrap by making or designing your own colourful card or voucher. Here are some ideas to get you started…

  • Take someone on a day out
  • A home-cooked meal
  • Take a family member or friend to see someone they’ve not seen in a long time
  • Offer to clear up a garden
  • Do the shopping
  • Walk the dogs for them
  • Visit them once a week or month for the next few months
  • Teach someone to sew or knit
  • Research their family tree with them
  • Run a race to raise funds for a charity that’s important to the person you’re giving it to
  • Give or create memories

Create new memories

  • Buy a day ticket to a theme park
  • Go to a new city or town for a day trip Have a trip down the River Thames by boat
  • A trip to the cinema
  • Pay for piano or horse riding lessons
  • A new taste or cooking experience

Gifts that keep on giving

If you don’t know what you want but there are lots of things you care about, isn’t it great for someone else to support a cause that’s important to you. Here are some other places you can get unique gifts from.

Other types of gifts

  • A gift card or voucher and gift cards can also be used again. So once you’ve spent the vouchers you receive this year keep the card and put money on it for someone else next year.
  • Give membership or a subscription. Find something you know will interest the person you want to give a present to and make an enquiry. The National Trust is just one organisation that will give gift memberships.
  • Donate food to a local animal shelter
  • Ask a local food bank or Church if they’re putting together Christmas dinner essentials for local families
  • Give books to a local school