Christmas Gifts That Give Back
Written and compiled by Ally Oliver-Perham
C H R I S T M A S. That’s right folks, the holiday season is coming for us all, just like a giant rolling rum ball, stuffed with loads of family time and a little too much lunch.
So it begs the question: What are you going to give everyone this year?
Well you don’t need to wonder any longer. We’ve got the low-down on gift ideas that won’t break the piggy bank, gifts that are kind to our environment, as well as some presents that help support amazing projects.
Our List of Christmas Gifts that Give Back ♥
“In India, the average age of a girl entering the sex trade is eleven. Many who enter are trafficked… in other words kidnapped, lured with promises of jobs in the city or sold by their own friends or family into sexual slavery. It is estimated that there are more than 3 million women and girls enslaved in India’s sex trade.”
– International Princess Project
Pujammies are a beautiful example of a gift that gives back. In some parts of the world, a life of sexual slavery is all too common. Without an education, money or family support women and girls who are sold into sexual slavery against their will are totally without choices. Punjammies aims to change that.
Punjammies (created by the International Princess Project) provides women and girls who wish to exit the sex trade with pathways out. By joining the International Princess Project, women and girls given the sewing skills to support themselves. These hand-made pjs are then sold all over the world with the proceeds from every garment coming to back to the original sewing centre, helping more women and girls rebuild their lives.
Punjammies will not only help women and girls live a life free from harm, they’ll also give you sweet dreams of hope!
For all our Australian readers, we recommend that you head to Change Merchant’s online store. They stock Punjammies and lots of other beautiful ethical products that help create positive social change.
For everyone located in North America (and nearby nations) go to www.itlprincess.org for your pair of Punjammies. Happy days!
“The foods and handcrafts found in our shops, on our web site and in our catalogues are sourced from individual workers, craft bodies and fair trade organisations in developing countries. We buy their goods at a fair price and sell them in Australia so that communities may be helped in their struggle for a better life.” – Oxfam
One in three people around the world lives in poverty. Oxfam is an international organisation which works hard change this, through the sheer force of people power. Oxfam works with communities to help create jobs, increase education and facilities like clean water and schools. Oxfam also helps craftspeople to create their own business and regular income through the Oxfam shop, which sells really lovely ethical hand-made products.
3. Loving Earth
Loving Earth is a Melbourne based company that sells fair trade, healthy sweets. They’re all about helping communities to build a more sustainable future, which means looking after the environment the food is sourced from and also looking after the people who live there. Loving Earth supports fair wages for all workers and caring for our environment.
Loving Earth is based on the philosophy that the earth is a living organism… Eating foods in their pure, minimally processed states, foods that are grown organically in a sustainable way, is one of the most significant ways in which we can live this philosophy. Not only are we nurturing our own health and wellbeing but we are also nurturing the health and wellbeing of our planet. – Loving Earth
Our favourite? Can’t go past Coconut Mylk Chocolate!
Hand-made in Melbourne with single origin Certified Organic Raw Cacao (55%) from Peru (wow) and sweetened with Organic Evaporated Coconut Nectar (double wow).
4. Make Your Own Short Bread! So thoughtful, so delicious.
Hand-made gifts are the best. Not only do you get to pretend that you’re starring in your very own cooking show (or is that just us?) but you also get to see folks faces light up when you tell them that no, those biscuits aren’t from the shops and yes, they are made out of pure squishy love, how did you know?
Check out this fail safe recipe from SBS for an extra happy Christmas giving. Not a confident cook? Ask a friend or an adult for some extra help.
100 g (1 cup) walnuts
180 g unsalted butter, softened
50 g caster sugar
1½ tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp leatherwood honey
200 g (1⅓ cups) plain flour, sifted, plus extra, to dust
50 g rice flour, sifted
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Place walnuts on an oven tray and roast for 5 minutes or until they darken ever so slightly and become fragrant. Keep an eye on them as they burn quickly. Remove and cool slightly.
- Place walnuts on a sheet of baking paper, then fold paper over and crush nuts gently with a rolling pin. Alternatively, process the nuts in a food processor until they are finely crushed but still have chunky bits.
- With an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter, sugars and honey until pale and fluffy. Combine flours in a bowl, then with mixer on low speed, carefully add flours and walnuts, and mix until just combined; take care not to over-mix. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently until smooth. Pat into a disc and, if it’s a bit soft and sticky, refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm.
- Re-dust work surface and roll out dough to about 4 mm thick. Using a 5 cm-round biscuit cutter, cut out rounds and place 1 cm apart on a lined oven tray. Bake for 12 minutes or until biscuits are slightly coloured around the edges. Cool on tray. They will feel soft, but will firm up as they cool. Store biscuits in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Original recipe from SBS. Check it out here.
To make the gift extra special, you could head down to the local op shop to hunt for a vintage tin to pop your short bread biscuits inside. Lovely!
Ally is a Melbourne-based designer, educator and one of the co-creators of Rosie. She is addicted to This American Life podcasts, wasabi peas and red lipstick. Her dog Scout is widely acknowledged as her spirit animal. Ally loves being able to put feminist issues front and centre.
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