7 free gift ideas for christmas

Giving gifts  isn’t just about buying things. Sometimes it’s better to show you care by doing something.  In this blog we provide 7 free gift ideas so that if finances are a bit tight (and we’ve all been there) there are things you gift this year that that won’t cost you your hard earned cash.  Giving doesn’t need to cost the earth either – experiences are the ‘KING’ of gift giving. 

I came up a list of ideas last year when I was pulling together the gift guide. You may wonder why…when I was supposed to be promoting brands on the directory. Well, stats are what did it…

The Shocking Christmas Stats 

I was inspired to think outside the box after seeing the shocking stats of how much money is spent at Christmas and the sheer volume of unwanted wasted gifts that are given each year…according to a study in 2014 by Tridos Bank it’s around £2.6 Billion…

  • 32% of people receive presents they don’t want

And another study found that 60 million presents could be wasted this Christmas, according to YouGov.  While a more recent poll by VoucherCodes.co.uk discovered that we’ll spend nearly £1 billion on the wrong presents (that’s just here in the UK). 

It made me stop and think about the misconception that we have to spend spend spend, all that pre-Christmas stress people face about money and get into debt for. When it comes to showing we care at Christmas  – it’s never about money.  

Obviously I endorse being a conscious shopper and buying from ethical and sustainable brands (particularly those on the EBD) – but I still wanted to remind you that there are in fact lots of things you can do that don’t cost anything at all – except, maybe your time, creativity and a whole lot of love.

If you are looking for gift inspiration (or late January gifts) do check out our Conscious Christmas Gift Guide -2018 Advent Calendar   Otherwise please do enjoy the suggestions below – and if you have any of your own, please add them in the comments. 

7 Free Gift Ideas:

  1. Volunteer your services to help work on a project you know would make your friends, partner or family feel good to complete  (nobody likes to go into a new year with a list of unfinished jobs). Give them a homemade gift card with the number of hours they can redeem
  2. Make something new or fix something. YouTube has so many tutorials there is no reason why you can’t make/fix something within your creative/skills range 
  3. Pick a day of the week where you do the cooking, cleaning, etc – whatever needs to be done to give your partner/friends/neighbour/loved ones a break and a few hours of R&R.
  4. Be an accountability buddy – offer your services to help a loved one stay on track for 2018.
  5. Have a rummage around your own home – see if you have any gifts that you’ve received but never used and give them to someone who will use them…
  6. Go to your wardrobe and take out all the items you no longer wear- ask yourself if you’ll actually ever wear it… if not gift to a friend who you know has made a point of saying they like it. 
  7. Research what’s going on online or in your neighbourhood and get involved in a free activity – book tickets for you and a friend and make some new memories

Wrap Smart 

And try to make sure you avoid buying wrapping paper and make the most of boxes you already own around the house.  Wasted Christmas packaging cannot be recycled and it is estimated that it could wrap around the Big Ben 260,000 times. – Source: London Cleaning System 

That’s no happy Christmas for the planet…

The Best Things In Life Are Free 

Shocking stats to one side, let’s focus on having a happy holiday and remember the best things in life are FREE and the 2nd best things in life are those that are ethically and sustainable 😉 

I am a firm believer if we wish to enjoy life’s luxuries then we should pay the ‘full price’ not underpaid people hidden in supply chains in other countries,  not animals who have no voice,  and certainly not our home, planet earth. 

The most precious gifts are the ones that create long lasting memories. So if it’s a frugal Christmas for you this year – enjoy it with an abundance of love and kind actions instead. 


Roberta is the founder of Ethical Brand Directory and Roberta Style Lee.  She is a speaker and sustainable stylist.  You can connect with her on Instagram: @robertastylelee and Facebook: @robertastylelee 


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