If you know me personally, you might already know I am not big into Christmas.
It's not that I don't enjoy spending quality time with my family or cosy fairy-lights and evenings by the fire. It's the whole over-the-top consumerism it evokes that I seriously dislike. So many stood up against Black Friday, but are happily going Christmas shopping less than a week later. You only have to walk through a supermarket to see how much trash will be sold for one single day. Or should I say some of it even for a bare few seconds of that day (crackers are one of them, open, pop and straight into the bin it goes, wrapping paper, cards, ...).
Don't get me wrong, gifting is a beautiful thing to do, but how much thought do you really put into it? Is it really a token of your love or simply ticking a box to make yourself feel better or to fit into 'how it is done'?
Stop buying trash and destroying our planet, just because society tells you to do so. How about other ways to make this day (or any other day you get to spend with your loved ones) special? If you want to gift them something special, why not make it into something a bit more sustainable?
1. Gift An Experience
From trying out the newest artificial wave to strolling through a museum in a new city. Get them that ticket! Maybe they have always wanted to learn to surf?
You might be able to teach them yourself. Or, you could gift them a lesson with your local surf school, a weekend with Surfsistas or an amazing surf and yoga week at Chicks On Waves in Portugal. You could take them somewhere really special. Whether on holiday or simply down the road. Experiences are such amazing gifts and they create fond memories that will be remembered for years to come.
A holiday to remember with Chicks on Waves.
2. Make Them Something
What's more thoughtful than a handmade gift. We're all good at something. Whether it's knitting, woodwork, cooking, baking, sewing, writing, art ... you name it. Personally I think hand made gifts are the most beautiful kind. Some one thought of you and spend hours creating something special from the heart...
If you're really struggling with your skill or just simply too busy, why not let a skilled craftsperson make it for you? Admire Roni's silversmithing skills for Ocean Bohème. I try to find time to knit some beanies in between running Seafoam and raising my toddler. You can support a small and hard working business in the process.
Get those knitting needles out!
3. Offer Your Help With A Project
Maybe they could really do with a few hours of your time, whatever it may be for.
Whether something needs to be repaired (surf board dings?), painted, cleaned or they need a few hours of babysitting (so they can finally go surfing again). Sometimes what seems like the most mundane task to offer, will be most appreciated (making it into something a little more exciting).
Babysitting offers are a very welcome gift to any surf mama!
4. Support A Charity In Their Name
Some people just have it all. Instead of giving 'stuff' why not support a good cause and dedicate it to them. Find a charity that protects what they love.
From animals protection, ocean conservation to providing healthcare and shelter to children and refugees around the world. Plenty of amazing work to support.
Here are some every ocean lover will appreciate:
5. Gift A New Skill
As mentioned before, surely you have an amazing skill of which they are secretly envious. (Surfing?) Why not teach them? Or gift them a course to learn something they've always wanted to be better at. Maybe you know they are very talented at something like photography or art. There are so many amazing courses online too, for hardly any money at all. Courses that could open doors to new ways of living too.
Whatever you decide to do, I hope you have an amazing time with family and friends, because in the end spending quality time together is what it should be about!