For those who celebrate Christmas, here are some last minute gift ideas from an article I wrote for the Caroline Springs Community update, that have a fair-trade and anti-consumer bent.
Firstly, we choose only fair trade products for each other. Yes, I know that there are an incredible amount of transport emissions because mainly these gifts come from overseas, but I wanted to support the fair trade movement and not some giant corporation. We bought some of our gifts at New Internationalist Fair trade shop on-line. Use your favourite search engine to track them down. Not only do you get a great product that is built to last, you guarantee a fair price for products that are not a handout, but also helps encourage self reliance within that community. We have also bought some gifts at the Oxfam shop (www.oxfamshop.org.au) which is also sells fair trade goods. So we bought minimal gifts with all proceeds going to people who most need our money. The quality of the products is outstanding and you know that these handcrafted items have been made with care and attention to detail. Oxfam also have a program called Oxfam Unwapped, which is kind of like the program that I am about to describe from World Vision.
Secondly, instead of going absolutely crazy with gifts you can give a gift to someone who really needs it. World Vision has a campaign called Smiles, whereby you visit their website and buy a gift for someone else in need! What a fantastic concept. You can buy something as small as water purifications tablets for $5, or a house reconstruction kit for $1345! From mozzie nets to chickens, ducks, pigs, goats, donkeys or cows, the gift ideas are massive.
The choice is yours alone. You can give socks and jocks to someone who has everything, or a present that really means the world to someone. I reckon they are not only suitable for last minute gifts, but for corporate presents as well! What a great Chris Kringle present to give a work colleague.
Green seasons greetings to one and all,
Gavin, Kim and Family
Mrs Horty says
I love the work that Oxfam do so choose to support them financially all year rather than buy gifts that as you stated have incredible transport miles. There are many many wonderful Australian made and owned products available too. I think the whole concept of Fairtrade is great but it must always include Australians just asking to be supported with a fair price that reflects their actual costs too. Unfortunately this year when trying to find something for my grand kids that was within the budget and Aussie made was near impossible (taking into consideration what I knew they would and wouldn’t actually use) so I had to settle for within the budget. Next year I am going to do things differently and just make some home made goodies – if they don’t like it then it will just be ‘the crazy gift from that screaming hippy granny’ LOL
Hi Mrs Horty,
I agree with you. This year we have already decided that we will be buying no gifts at all, only Smiles or Oxfam unwrapped.
Christmas has been engulfed by consumerism, and has lost its meaning for many.