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MANDI MAKES

Natural Living Made Simple

MANDI MAKES

Eco-friendly Christmas Gift Guide

Your guide to gifting sustainable and eco-friendly gifts.


Some years I feel like I’m so on top of gift giving and manage to find the perfect gifts for everyone. Then, other years (like this one), the whole idea is completely overwhelming and I just want to tell all my friends and family that we’re not doing gifts this year! Sometimes it just feels like we are giving a gift for the sake of giving one. I always endeavour to get gifts that I feel will be useful and helpful, or something that can be treasured for a long time. This eco-friendly Christmas Gift Giving Guide is more something I needed to write for myself this year, but I hope you may resonate with this and find this guide helpful as you plan to celebrate the season with your loved ones.


 

WHAT'S IN THE BLOG

This blog is written to help you think about your motivation behind giving gifts and to provide a helpful list of eco-friendly gift ideas as you think about each person you want to buy a gift for. Hopefully, as you understand your own personal motivation behind why you give gifts, you can use the gift list to make a conscious and intentional plan for the gifts you want to give that line up with your values and budget! Don't forget to take little bit of time to think about the interests of your gift recipients too :) Here's a break down of what's in the blog (click to go straight a section):

  1. The Ultimate Gift Guide (handmade, store bought, self-care & personal care, clothing, & homewares)



 

1. GIFT GIVING BOOSTS YOUR HAPPINESS

Did you know that giving a gift boosts your happiness? Can you remember a time where you gave a gift to someone that you just knew they would love? Do you remember how you anticipated giving them the gift and then the joy on their face when they received it? I'm sure you've heard the saying "it's better to give than to receive". Research tells us that the act of giving to others can boost our own happiness for months! That’s a great reason to get into the gift giving spirit!


 


 

2. GIFT GIVING MOTIVATION

We all know that it is tradition to give gifts at Christmas time. But, have you ever stopped to really think about why you give gifts? What is your motivation? Through identifying your motivation behind gift giving, you can be more intentional about your focus this year.


Use the questions below to help you identify your why. There is no right or wrong! It definitely isn’t something everyone enjoys. Perhaps you identify with more than one motivation depending on who you are buying gifts for or their relation to you.

  • I give gifts because it’s tradition

  • I give gifts because I love seeing the joy on other peoples faces

  • I give gifts because I see value in thanking those who have supported and loved me throughout the year with something tangible

  • I give gifts because I find joy in giving to those in need

  • I give gifts because I love shopping

  • I give gifts because I feel pressure to do so from friends and family

 


 

3. TYPES OF GIFTS

What kind of gifts do you enjoy giving? Whilst gift giving is about the recipient, it is still important that it resonates with what you see as valuable.

  • I love to give gifts of a practical nature that I know someone will find useful

  • I love giving gifts of special value that can be treasured e.g. jewellery

  • I love giving gifts based on what I’ve observed someone really wants or needs

  • I love giving gifts that will provide a memory e.g. an activity or experience

  • I love giving gifts that are sustainable, eco-friendly and as natural as possible

 


 

4. STAYING WITHIN BUDGET

Perhaps the biggest stress when giving gifts for Christmas is budget! Before you start shopping, decide on your budget. How much are you comfortable spending on your kids? How much are you happy to spend on other family members and/or friends? In an ideal organised world, I would recommend planning this out now, even if you have already started shopping, and then save your budget for next Christmas. That way, you will already have an idea of how much money you need to put aside before the time for Christmas gift giving hits you next year.


Now that you have figured out your gift giving motivation and gift giving type, use that to help guide your budget. For example, if your motivation is thanking others and you love giving gifts of special value, you will likely choose to spend more money on a gift compared to someone whose motivation is tradition and they love giving gifts of a practical nature. Set your limits and stick to them!


 


 

5. ULTIMATE GIFT GUIDE

This is what you really came here for! Our focus is on eco-friendly gifts, but I am also a big fan of gifting experiences that provide memories for years to come, so there are some memory making ideas in here too! Here’s what we are going to cover:

  • Handmade

  • Store bought

  • Experiences

 

HANDMADE

There is something super special about handmade gifts. They can be super easy and budget friendly as well as eco-friendly.


1. Body scrub

Base:

1 cup sugar or salt 1/4 cup sweet almond oil or grape seed oil or avocado oil 1/4 cup fractionated coconut oil

Variations:

Lavender 1 Tbsp Dried Lavender Buds 5-6 Drops Lavender Essential Oil Grind / Smash Lavender Buds in a Mortar and Pestle. Then mix all ingredients together and store in an air-tight mason jar. Jars are readily available at places like Kmart, The Reject Shop, Big W and even your local supermarket.


Mint Chocolate

1 Tbsp cocoa powder 5-6 Drops peppermint oil


Mix all ingredients together and store in an air-tight mason jar.



2. Linen/room spray

Base

Fill a glass spray bottle with 2/3 water, 1/3 isopropyl alcohol


Variations

Calming: add 20 drops of lavender essential oil

Revitalising: add 20 drops of a combination of citrus oils such as lemon, grapefruit, sweet orange, bergamot

Or get creative with any other essential oils you have!


3. Bath salts

Base

Equal parts coarse salt (e.g. dead sea salt), and Epsom salts. You could also include pink Himalayan salt (coarse or fine) using the following ratio: 2 parts coarse dead sea salt, 2 parts Epsom salt, 1 part Himalayan salt.

Variations

Calming: depending on size of jar/bottle, add 10-20 drops lavender essential oil and dried lavender flowers. Either layer salt and dried flowers, or mix together.

Revitalising: depending on size of jar/bottle, add 10-20 drops of citrus oils lemon, grapefruit, sweet orange, bergamot and a dried botanical such as jasmine flowers or hibiscus flowers.

Or get creative with any other essential oils you have!


4. DRIED HOMEGROWN HERBS

Have an abundance of herbs in your garden? Pick bunches, tie string around them and hang somewhere out of reach of little hands to dry. Grind/blend and place into cute jars. Label, tie jute string/ribbon around to make it look cute and festive.


Or, infuse in olive oil as another cute gift idea and way to use homegrown herbs.



 

STORE BOUGHT

There isn’t always time to hand make gifts. So, here is a list of eco-friendly options you can buy online (please note I have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned here). We cover the following categories:

  • For the kids

  • Self-care & personal care

  • Clothing

  • Home

1. For the kids:


2. Self-care & personal care

We couldn’t go past mentioning gifts for self-care and personal care as this is our passion here at Mandi Makes. So, yes, we are going to mentioned some Mandi Makes products perfect for giving the gift of self-care as well as some other amazing brands to check out (once again, no affiliation to any mentioned brands).

  1. Body Butter - our most popular product! The luxurious fluffy texture of our body butter, and the gorgeous scents, makes it an ultimate product for self-care. Not only is it a practical product to gift, but it really feels like a treat to use! Shop here.

  2. Beard oil - our latest product formulated to nourish and soften beard and skin (perfect for gentlemen sporting a clean shaven head too). Gift the men in your life the gift of self-care by encouraging them to take some time out in their daily routine to do something that makes them not only smell good, but feel good because they are doing something just for them. Shop here.

  3. Make up - this can often be a bit of a luxury item, especially extra make up items like lipstick, blush or eye shadow that we might not buy for ourselves or wear very often. I have been using Inika and Ere Perez makeup for years and highly recommend them as amazing natural makeup brands with incredible products.

  4. Hair care - Christmas gift can be a great way to introduce someone to the world of natural products. One of my cousins introduced me to New Zealand brand Ethique a number of Christmas’ ago and I have been using their hair care products ever since. Their shampoo and conditioner bars have become a staple and really helped to tame my curly frizzy hair.

  5. Other online stores to check out for personal care and self-care items: Nourished Life, Seed & Sprout, Shop Naturally

3. Clothing

It can really hard to find clothing made from sustainable fibres that look good. Here are my picks for sustainable and fashionable clothing:

  • Adrift - a range of cute clothing and great basics

  • All Birds - large range of clothing, shoes and accessories for the whole family

  • Birds Nest - whilst not necessarily entirely fashionable clothing, there are some great basics here

  • Hemp Clothing Australia has a great range of t-shirts and shirts for the guys

  • Organic Crew - probably the best range of basics and sleepwear I’ve come across!

4. Homewares

There are a number of great options for sustainable and eco-friendly homewares.

  • Flora & Fauna - from plantable Christmas cards to puzzles, kombucha kits, books and SO MUCH MORE. You could probably do most of your Christmas shopping here! One of my favourites!

  • Native plants - the perfect gift for the gardener of the family. It’s the gift that keeps giving for both the recipient and nature. Shop at your local Bunnings or online from places such as Flora & Fauna (mentioned above).

  • LazyBones carries a gorgeous range of gift ideas from linen to a variety of gorgeous homewares.

  • The Fair Trader Store is another great all round store for sustainable sourced products.

 

There it is! The ultimate guide a sustainable and eco-friendly gift giving season. Let us know your favourite gifts to give this year.


HAPPY GIFTING!!! xx

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Hi, I'm Mandi. A former primary teacher, Lifestyle Medicine graduate and current Diploma in Natural Skincare student with a passion for natural living.

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