Gifts can be good and gifts can do good

‘Wrapping’ up (boom, boom!) my series about reducing the stress that Christmas with some ideas for Christmas gifts so you can focus on what matters (see part 1 and part 2).

I’ve been delaying this post for some time, and I wasn’t sure why. But I think now that it was because:

  • I thought it needed to be comprehensive and so I needed to find some more examples
  • I was nervous about the image qualities (not my strength)
  • I wasn’t sure whether I was giving a broad enough range of options for the ‘perfect’ gift.

Maybe I was being sucked into the over-thinking tendency that I have, or maybe I’m just tired. The approaching end of the year can do this to us all.

Alternatives to gifts

Christmas is not about being perfect – it is about showing you care.

That doesn’t always involve giving gifts (and for some ideas about non-gifts, have a look at Smaggle’s post from today about how to give back).

You probably know of other groups to add to this list – we give food through the Official 15 cans challenge (which incidentally was started only last year by a couple of women in Sydney and now has spread through the world. Amazing!), our school drive, and also, in addition to Oxfam Charity Gifts, we buy  Tear Australia gift cards too, because we have an affiliation with them.

I am a big fan of experiences – musicals, sporting events, dinners, movies – rather than more stuff, if you or your family or friends don’t want or need them.


Gifts can be good and gifts can do good

But often, we do love to give a present, and we know that it will be appreciated.

If you are looking for great ideas, which have the added bonus of providing real benefits for those you are buying from (ethically and sustainably produced, benefitting a local business, or returns the benefits to a local community in need – or even better, all of these benefits), The Oxfam Shop and Good Spenders have some great options.


The Oxfam Shop

I’ve developed a soft spot for Oxfam Australia, after walking through the Dandenong Ranges as part of the Oxfam Trailwalker fundraising event with a team even earlier this year (which I talked about a lot to anyone who listened – and if you want to hear more, you can read here, here and here).

I’ve since discovered more of the great work they do. This includes the wonderful Oxfam Shop, where beautiful fair trade products can be purchased. If you choice from here, you are sure to buy something that will be well loved, plus you are providing a fair price, and conditions, to people who could really benefit. Plus, they are very helpful in overcoming my fear of photo quality (thanks to them for these beautiful images).

Here’s a sample of some of the great Christmas items you could buy:



How beautiful are all of these? (I am particularly partial to the little deer candle holders, myself …). And this is only a sample of what is available.

There is an Oxfam store in each state, plus you still have a few days left for online orders (but hurry!)



The Good Spender online market place 

source: good spender
image: good spender

Another source of great ideas is Good Spender, which I’ve only recently heard of through a a friend.

Good Spender is an online marketplace set up by Social Traders, a Melbourne based not-for-profit social enterprise development organisation, and Australia Post, as part of its ‘Our Neighbourhood’ community program.

It brings a really diverse set of businesses together, covering fashion, kids’ gifts, homewares, jewelery … the list goes on. What a fantastic idea!

Here’s a snap shot of some of the wonderful gifts you could choose from (all images and gifts sourced from the Good Spender website):






And then this one is a favourite – a great way to decorate your house, presents, etc, and all made from recycled material:

Source: Good spender (from seller @silklotusproducts)
Source: Good spender (from seller @silklotusproducts)


Note – Good Spender has free shipping this Friday from midday to midnight – might be a good prompt to look and get organised!


So that’s my christmas (presents) sorted – now I only need to buy and wrap them, and then I can focus on being present in this Christmas period.


How about you? Do you have any good ideas for Christmas gifts – or do you take an alternative approach. I’d love you to share them with us!






10 thoughts on “Gifts can be good and gifts can do good

  1. Helen, I spent quite a bit of time in the oxfam shop this week. Loved browsing and seeing some really good quality gifts – anything from fair trade chocolate to wooden travel chess sets! Also bought some beautiful hand made cards to keep when wanting to write a quick note. I certainly didn’t mind spending money! Will definitely be back.

    Liked by 1 person

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