Christmas is the time when most businesses are looking forward to capitalizing on the heartfelt feelings. And people are willingly spending their hard earned bucks on presents for the loved ones. But how can we create more meaningful moments for our loved ones amidst the bustle of this consumerist culture flagship event? And still stay socially responsible, sustainable and even more – impactful? In this article you will hear about several ways to do at least double the amount of goodness for this Christmas already! With that I mean getting Christmas gifts that your dearest will love, and supporting a cause at the same time. 

Why support social entrepreneurs in the Christmas season?

First and foremost, purchasing goods and experiences from social entrepreneurs is a great deed any day of the year. Your money is the way how they can fulfil their good intentions, and grow their impact too. Namely, the profit they get is then invested in a good cause. And the best thing is – they work on solving this issue throughout the year, from day to day!

But why is it especially important to have a look at their offer especially in the Christmas time? Simply put, it is just more responsible and considerate spending your money for a socially responsible and sustainable business practice. And in this season the amount of spending increases drastically, so why not make sure that the good causes get enough of boost for their business, and in turn can create larger impact as a result of Christmas craze. But this is not the only benefit. You see, by purchasing and giving such gifts you help to tell their story to other people, and this is a great contribution to the cause, too! Additionally, receiving a gift with meaning makes a greater sense of gratitude, doesn’t it?

Now that we have established common grounds on why is it crucial to think about social entrepreneurs in this festive season, let’s talk a bit more in detail about the potential gifting options and scenarios! Just for the information – the article will feature mostly Latvian enterprises, but you can easily google the similar alternatives in your surroundings. Because, as you know – buying local is always better! Shall we start?

slow fashion

It is undeniable that one of the most pressing issues in the world is related to over consumerism and various environmental issues. Which is also why it is not a surprise that so many social enterprises are looking for their own approach and social innovation to contributing to a better and greener world in future. Clothing is among the most common gift items under almost any Christmas tree (because, it is obviously practical), so why not gift clothes that have been made sustainably, or even from recycled fabrics and other items. For example, for avid swimmers or the next summer season consider swimsuits from SWIMBE. Besides practicing a responsible approach to their business, they craft their garments from a fabric that is made from recycled fishing nets, carpets, PET bottles etc.!

handmade accessories

Buying these goods you will warm at least three hearts, for sure! That is yours, the one who will receive it, as well as the person who made the present. By gifting a handmade pair of socks, soaps, handicrafts, tableware or accessories you can support various marginalized groups of society that take part in creating these little goods by their own warm hands. For some of them it is a crucial financial necessity, for some – a possibility to feel relevant and included! For example, on webpage you can buy various nice items made by seniors and people with special needs. The best part about this shop? When buying you will also be able to find out something more about the author of the gift!

special experiences

Isn’t the best part about social innovation the creativity in solving the issue? Sometimes it is brought to us through a fun game or activity that might as well be a great gift. May it be a walk with one of the dogs from the animal shelter, or learn to spell letters of alphabet through an innovative game. Anyhow, what matters is your commitment to the experience, and the time spent together. For what it matters, if you want to do something especially kind then donate for company Sonido that provides a service where everyone who feels lonely or wants to talk can reach out without an additional cost.

buy less

If you are especially conscious about your actions consider buying less and creating meaningful moments with your loved ones without spending too much of money. Think about all the ways that you can create the impact and cultivate the love in your surroundings by just being a little more creative than going to a supermarket for you Christmas gifts. First, consider organizing a gift lottery where each of the family members gets one person to prepare a gift for. I am sure that some of your loved ones have everything they need already, and deciding on a present for them is a struggle each year anyhow. And secondly, consider giving experiences instead of things – craft a special moment together that will make everyone feel more special and remember this event way longer. Here’s an example: bake gingerbread cookies together before sitting at the common Christmas table!

Wherever your thoughts are going this year concerning the gifts and the season itself, I hope that now you have gotten at least a few ideas about the ways how to make your friends and family feel more special at the Christmas Eve. To be honest, it is rarely about the presents, but about making people feel loved and special. But if you do look for a tangible parcel of joy to transfer this feeling then be mindful and go for goods of social enterprises!

Photo by Juliana Malta on Unsplash

This publication has been prepared within SENBS project No. 2020- 1-EE01-KA204-077999. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the project coordinator and may not always reflect the views of the European Commission or the National Agency.