Tuesday 22 November 2016

Alternative Christmas Gift Guide with Oxfam Unwrapped

   I've covered a few gift guides recently - foodies, animal lovers, fantasy lovers, and this Friday's is fitness - but after seeing a few unique gifts during my own Christmas shopping mission, I really wanted to put together an alternative gift guide, and Oxfam Unwrapped's campaign gave me the extra push to get on with it. Oxfam charity gifts aren't like other charity gifts - rather than buying stuff and allowing the profits to be used by the charity, these are more like animal adoptions. All of what you pay goes to the charity for the purpose you've selected, such as providing education in poorer countries, help with farming or giving a family the means to start up a business and gather their own income. They say Christmas is about giving - we should be conscious about the world around us all the time rather than wrapped up in our personal troubles, but that's just not human nature. So at least be sure, this Christmas, to consider the rest of the world around you - and not just poverty in other countries, but that around you, too.
   You'll appreciate your own Christmas all the more when you do.

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   So make sure you do some good this Christmas. Oxfam Unwrapped's gift a goat is an excellent starting point. The goat provides a Nigerian family with milk to drink, as well as milk and goat cheese to sell, giving them a start to their own small business and income - not to mention the manure which they can use on their own fields, or sell to others for use on theirs.

   For the intellectual, or those of us who prefer to escape the world in the pages of a good book, this (3) book flower ring will appeal to book loving women of all ages. Available in a range of classic and fantasy titles, including Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice, it's sure to appeal to every book worm - and with custom requests at just an additional £3, any title is a possibility, and only broken books are ever used.
   And if they aspire to pen their own creations, a set of (12) grammatically correct pencils will prevent any excuses for poor work, and this (7) worry eater will be a much needed companion for when the manuscripts start going out to agencies - a far more understanding alternative to a teddy bear.

   Socks and soap (or 'bathing gift sets') are staple Christmas gifts, but these (4) sushi socks are a cut above the rest, and you can never go wrong with toiletries from Lush - their (6) Father Christmas Lush bath bomb collection makes a great alternative to plain old soap or shower gel. Bath bombs are way more fun, especially when they release countless colours into the water!
   Oh, and forget those scented candles - this (11) hatching dragon candle is 9000 times better.

   Rather than a typical coffee mug, this (1) colour-change northern lights mug is a much better and far more impressive option. It reacts to the heat of its contents to reveal or conceal the aurora borealis! And instead of the usual earl grey to accompany it, how about some (8) monkey picked tea? Or, if they like their tipple and hide it in a coffee mug, (9) Phoenix Tears spiced rum is an interesting alternative to a bottle of wine. It's glittery, too.
   Then there are the best gifts is the rest of the food. The Christmas pudding is not for everyone - it isn't for me - but this (2) belgian chocolate christmas pudding with a runny chocolate centre might brighten the faces of the younger generation at this year's Christmas dinner. And for an alternative to chocolates, and truly a more nutritious one, (10) gourmet spiced apple cider popcorn is certainly going to be a more impressive gift, and perfect for the Boxing Day movie.


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