Elfless Acts — gift giving without stuff
Can you remember what your favourite ever gift was? The best present you ever received? I think I have a shortlist of three…
1/ A surprise trip to Disneyland Paris (back when it was still called Euro Disney), that I genuinely knew nothing about until we were standing in the reception of the hotel. (My parents are crafty and clever people.)
2/ Being taken to the Mernier Chocolate Factory by my new boyfriend (now husband) to see Victoria Wood’s play Talent (and bumping into Victoria Wood herself in the foyer!).
3/ A day at the seaside with a really good friend. We ate donuts, sat on the beach and threw stones at the sea, and talked all day long.
There’s a theme to these, and that’s that they are the kind of gifts that don’t necessarily involve stuff. I’ve received some wonderful physical presents over the years, but the gifts that tend to come to mind the most have involved experiences over stuff.
At my charity, Global Action Plan, we’ve just launched a campaign to encourage people to consider giving experience based gifts this Christmas. Whether that is tickets to a show, or a promise of “I will come round and play Escape from Colditz with you”, experiences can take on all shapes and sizes, and don’t contribute in the same way to our use of resources and creation of waste.
So…fancy doing an Elfless Act this Christmas?