5 Tips for Giving Great Gifts That Align with Your Values
The intention of gift giving is to strengthen relationships and connections. Gifts are our sentiments made tangible—why not treat them as such?
When I brainstorm gift ideas or peruse my local shops (often online), I look for something the recipient will love that also checks the following boxes:
Often, gifts that are unique and low-waste are not affordable, gifts that are unique and affordable are not low-waste, and gifts that are low-waste and inexpensive are not unique. The creativity comes in finding something perfect for the recipient that truly covers all three.
Gifting is an artform! Read the blog to learn our 5 tips for giving great gifts that align with your values.
Here are our 5 tips for giving great gifts that align with your values:
Choosing and acquiring the perfect gift takes time and care. When I wait until the last minute to find a gift, my options inevitably dwindle. With no time left to allow for shipping, I end up choosing something based on convenience—even if it doesn’t align with my values. Planning is essential!
Always be on the lookout for gifts. When the time comes, I am constantly grateful to my past self for picking up something great when I came across it. It’s also nice to have a stash of general giftable items in case of a last minute party invitation, or for an acquaintance who needs a pick-me-up.
I have a shelf in my linen closet dedicated to gifts that I collect and give throughout the year. I always know where to find them, even when I’ve made purchases months before the gifting occurs.
The perfect gift is not expensive
The reality is that we each have a budget to be conscious of. Buying an expensive gift doesn't mean that it will necessarily resonate with the recipient. As I said earlier, gifts are symbolic of sentiment.
My goal last Christmas was to give my family the warmest and softest sweaters in their wardrobes. Buying brand new cashmere or merino wool sweaters was outside of my budget, so I checked out the sweater section each time I visited my local thrift store. It only took a few trips to find sweaters in the perfect size with a fitting design. (If you are looking for wool secondhand, make sure it hasn’t already been shrunk by the previous owner!) It was an affordable way to give everyone I love a warm hug as a gift.
Do your research
We’re in the era of brand values. In all likelihood, the company you are considering shopping with will display their company values and practices front and centre… and if they are not, maybe their practices aren’t worth bragging about. Take time to research businesses that operate with values that align with your own. For example, some things that are important to me are:
- That the humans who made the product were paid a fair wage for their work.
- That the products are well made. They won’t break and end up in a landfill.
- And that I am supporting small businesses in my community.
Wherever your values land, spending your money with businesses that are well-aligned will allow them to keep doing that work.
Choosing a gift that resonates with the recipient will ultimately reduce waste. That could be plastic waste, wasted money, or wasted time on gifts that won’t be enjoyed.
As with anything that I purchase, I like to be mindful of the object’s lifecycle. Is it good quality? Will it serve its intended purpose for a long time? Is it made to be disposable? Will it decompose, or end up in the landfill? This goes for gift wrap and packaging too.
On the flip side, if you receive a gift that you aren’t terribly keen on, regift it! I believe there’s no use in hanging on to something that doesn’t add value to our lives when it could be passed on to someone who will find value.
Our goal at Silver Antelope is to curate unique, small-batch products that are consciously made by small businesses whose values align with ours, emphasizing companies that are also women-led and/or BIPOC-owned. If that sounds like something that you would be into, welcome! We’d love to hear your suggestions for the types of products that you’d love to see carried in our shop.