Ten good gifts for Christmas


TFN looks at a range of gift options for those that want to make a difference this festive season

20th November 2017 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

If you are looking for gifts that will be special for your loved ones, but can also help others, then there are a variety of great presents available from Scottish charities and social enterprises.

Caring Christmas Trees

OK, so it's not really a traditional gift, but if you know someone who needs to get into the festive spirit, why don't you show you care and buy them a caring Christmas tree. Caring Christmas Trees supports 7,000 people with homelessness, housing, and addiction issues through the sale of fine Nordman fir trees. The project is operated by the Bethany Christian Trust, and sells trees in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Fife at various pickup locations in December. The tree order hotline can be accessed by calling 0345 111 8733, with lines open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm or order online at Caring Christmas Trees. Trees start at £35.

Heroes Vodka

It's not really Christmas until the cocktails come out, so if you know a fan of a Moscow Mule, a Cosmopolitan or a good old Bloody Mary, Heroes Vodka could be the ideal gift. It provides connoisseurs with a super-premium quality vodka whilst also supporting forces charities. Founder Chris Gillan, who was injured while training with the SAS in Afghanistan in 2008, has been supported by Social Investment Scotland (SIS) this year to get it stocked in local Asda stores, so there's no excuse not to pick up a bottle with your Christmas shop. The product is distilled a minimum of seven times to ensure its purity before being diluted with demineralised Scottish water. Heroes Vodka costs around £20 a bottle.

Roddy the Cuddly Reindeer

Meet Santa's newest recruit. Rudolph may be famous for his bright red nose, but Roddy is one of Santa's new favourites with his bright blue eyes. The soft toy is being sold by Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, and is named after the hospital’s popular consultant neurosurgeon Roddy O’Kane. What youngster would be able to resist the lure of those droopy eyes? Roddy is just £15 from Glasgow Childern's Hospital Charity website

Puffin Cruet Set

The turkey has been cooked to perfection, the chipolatas are deliciously crispy, but you know uncle Tam is still going to want to cover it all with salt. These adorable puffin salt and pepper shakers could be the ideal gift. The hand-painted ceramic pots are sold by the RSPB and will at least get the conversation focused on ornithology, which is probably a relief. Get them from the RSPB website for a mere £12.99 

Pay for a night out

If you can’t think of what to buy your party mad nephew who has everything he could possibly want, then why not treat him to a night out at Harry’s Bar in Edinburgh. Harry’s provides customers with top notch drinks and bites with a social twist – all profits go towards supporting a quality hospitality training programme for those that need it most. Harry’s is part of BeerForGood CIC – the UK’s first social enterprise bar group. Harry’s Bar is on Randolph Place in Edinburgh and scrumptious bar bites are three for £12.

Donate a gift

If you are feeling guilty about the amount you are spending this festive season, then you may want to consider doing something to help others. Present Aid offers a range of gifts that can be sent to those who are less fortunate across the globe. The charity gift website supports the work of Christian Aid and offers life saving equipment and other essential items to those in need. One option for that friend who wants to change the world is a cute nanny goat to support the Borena people in southern Ethiopia – which comes in as a snip at £22.

Cheese and treat basket

There are arguably fewer great partnerships than cheese and wine, especially at Christmas time. Parkinson’s UK's cheese and treat basket contains some fine British products, which can be washed down with a half bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. However you'll have to set aside £65 to buy this picnic basket packed with gourmet treats for that aunt who has a taste for the finer things in life.

Gym membership

With Christmas night-outs already underway, the festive bingeing season has started. TFN attempted to find elasticated trousers that were being sold by a charity or social enterprise, however our searching came up short. But if you or a loved one are looking to beat the bulge, Projekt 42 is a not-for-profit gym and wellness centre which recently opened in Edinburgh. The social enterprise is focused on strengthening the connection between mental health and physical fitness, helping people to feel great as well as lose a few pounds. From Abs Blast and Animal Flow to Metafit and Yin Yoga, whatever your fitness level, experience, age or mindset, there's something for everyone. With classes available on a pay as you go basis, or unlimited monthly membership priced £22.50, the gym at Newkirkgate Shopping centre is affordable and accessible.

The Experience

If competiveness is likely to kick in amongst your family this Christmas, then why not opt for a a few laps in a go kart instead of alcohol-fuelled Trivial Pursuit. The Experience, run by care charity Kibble and just minutes from Braehead near Glasgow, is a charity karting and laser tag experience. Gift vouchers are available for a range of experiences, and will provide the perfect day out for you and your siblings or that friend who loves to go fast.

Harry’s Chocs

Christmas is as much about chocolate as it is Santa or crackers. Harry Specter’s chocolate company sells fine confectionary made by people with autism, helping more than  250 young people with the condition develop employment skills. Harry’s use only the finest-grade chocolate, and is ethically sourced from sustainably grown cocoa. Gift sets will provide a sumptious injection of sugar to help sweeten up your other half, just try not to scoff the box before 25 December.

Still stuck?

Check out last year's Good Gifts for Christmas list for even more charity and social enterprise sourced ideas!

17th March 2018 by asasds

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