Every year my parents and in-laws ask me what I would like for Christmas, and every year without fail I’m stumped for ideas. In this day and age, where we’re all working and can therefore afford to buy whatever takes our fancy whenever we want, I’m guessing we all struggle to think of meaningful and useful presents to gift to or request from loved ones.
Many of the items that end up on my wishlist are those items that are too expensive for me to buy impulsively. Anything costing more than £40 I usually lump into that category. However, I usually feel too embarrassed to ask for someone to buy these more costly items for me.
It would be a shame to scrap Christmas altogether, and in some families alternative ideas like only buying presents from the charity shop or exclusively gifting homemade goodies just doesn’t work. This year, as part of a holistic change towards a more sustainable lifestyle, I’ve refrained as much as possible from impulse purchases and small presents to myself as the months pass. Instead, I’ve tried to save these little items for my Christmas wishlist. It saves me being stumped for ideas and enables my family to gift something that I will truly enjoy and value.
These are the items I’ve got my eye on this Christmas.
A Scotland calendar
If I can’t be there in person, at least I’ll have some glorious images to tide me through the year while I’m sitting at my office desk pining for some Highland air.
An old fashioned board game set
While I was visiting my dad earlier this year, we spent an evening planning board games – something I haven’t done for ages and always vehemently denied enjoying. It was one of the most fun evenings in in a long time. I’ve asked for a compendium just like my dad’s with lots of different games. I’d like it to contain ludo, backgammon and Chinese checkers/halma. A second hand scrabble set wouldn’t be unwelcome either. This will be a gift that I suspect I will enjoy well into old age.
M Train by Patti Smith
As much as I will always love receiving a book or e-book voucher, sometimes only the real thing will do. My criteria for purchasing (and keeping) hard copies are books that I will want to read again and again, books that I can dip in and out of and will never fail to inspire me, books that marry spoken word and image, and books that are beautiful and are meant to be treasured. This book is definitely a case in point and I would love to find it waiting for me under the Christmas tree.
A yoga bolster
This gift is towards the more expensive end of the spectrum and is one of those things that I just haven’t got round to buying for myself. A bolster is so useful for restorative yoga poses (like a blissful reclining cobbler) and to sit on during meditation. I love this example from yoga matters with the Indian fabric trim.
Booze: River Cottage Handbook No.12 by John Wright
Recently I’ve become more and more interested in making my own everything, from cosmetics to bread, pickles and cheese. Our blackberry gin and raspberry vodka have become firm family favourites over the last few Christmases and in October I even attended a mead-making workshop. I’ve been itching to buy demijohns and honey ever since (I can’t start making it yet due to house renovations/sales/moves). I’d love to learn more about making other types of boozy beverages, especially from foraged ingredients, via this book and can’t wait to try them out when we’ve moved house.
Blank notebooks or sketchpads
Because I can never have enough paper to scribble on – these will always come in handy.
What’s on your Christmas wishlist this year? Do you find it more difficult to compile a list of presents for yourself to to find suitable gifts for loved ones?