2019 Christmas Gift Guide- Conscious Edition

12 December 2019

It’s that time of the year again. The most wonderful time of the year. Holiday season is upon us. To complement this gifting season,  my annual Christmas gift guide is here. And like every year, I choose to gift thoughtfully and support local businesses. I’m not someone who gets excited about candles. Sorry, absolutely no offence to anyone who gets serenaded by scents! it just doesn’t float my boat. I want to give and receive gifts that will be used over and over again. Gifts that are valued. Gifts that add some richness to someone’s life.

Before I gift, I always focus on the need. What does this person need? And how I can give something that is light on my pocket (very important!) and also the environment. It’s the thought that counts right? My most cherished gifts from last two Christmas's have been the Waterpik water flosser (that I still use every night. I loved it so much, I gifted it to my brother-in-law as well) and the Philips Baby Monitor that we got gifted by in-laws last year. It still gets used every damn day. That baby monitor is what allows me to type this while the baby sleeps in the other room. It enables me to keep an eye on her while I work away. These are the kind of gifts I aspire for.

If you’d like to check out my previous year gift guides, click on this link. These blog posts have my best suggestions from the past few years. The ideas still hold true today. I just don’t want to keep repeating the same products; hence here is a fresh one for you. 

Here’s all that I’ll be gifting this Christmas- 

1. Homegrown Seeds, Plants from cuttings or a Garden Center Voucher- What better gift for a gardener than precious seeds? I have a glut of spinach and basil seeds from my garden that I’ll be packing in little brown envelopes for friends and family. You could always pick some new season veg/herb/flower seeds or seedlings from the garden store. Or better yet a garden centre voucher takes care of all the dilemma. 

I took some indoor plant cuttings a couple of months ago. They have survived and are now blooming in fresh soil. No points for guessing, that’s my eco-friendly gift for friends and family this season. Absolutely no cost to me, but still has my personal attention and thoughtfulness. 
(Side Note: If you struggle to keep plants alive, here's my list of top 15 indoor plants that will survive no matter what!)

2. Beeswax Wraps- The one habit that I’d be successfully leaving behind in 2019 is the cling-wrap. I haven’t purchased a single roll of plastic cling wrap this entire year and I’m mighty proud of that. Beeswax wraps made it all possible. The switch to them was seamless. I worked with a couple of beeswax wrap brands this year and honestly, I can’t pick one over the other. They are all just as good. And incidentally, all of them are local businesses run by amazing women. nil products, munch cupboard and My Eco Wrap have got my seal of approval this year. There are many other brands in the market. I urge you to try one and witness for yourself just how it’ll magically reduce your plastic consumption. This is what I’m gifting my brother-in-law this Christmas. He is always so enthusiastic about wasting rolls and rolls of cling wrap. This is my effort to get him to ease up on that habit and help the environment.

3. Stainless Steel Safety Razor- This is another achievement for me this year (2019). I’ve ditched the plastic razor and have been converted to metal razors thanks to SustainaBLAH safety razor. I’ve talked a lot about it on my social handles but here’s a demo video (linked here) and a full review of this razor. I believe this is a perfect gift for both men and women in your life. Everyone needs a great shaving tool. You can't go past its aesthetics either. Rose Gold is totally my jam. Such a perfect gift!

4. Wallace Cotton Tea Towel Set- A gift that’ll keep on giving. This Wallace cotton tea towel set in Christmas prints is such an apt gift for the cook in your life. Its made by a NZ company that uses ethically-farmed, 100% organic cotton. This 'Most Wonderful' tea towel set features one plain and two printed cotton flour sack tea towels, featuring NZ's own Pohukutawa Christmas Tree. I'm obsessed! It'll keep reminding me of this Christmas for many years to come. Also, let us not forget how many paper towel rolls this will replace. Yes! I’m all about sustainability. Available here. Check out Wallace Cotton's cute Santa sacks on their website too.

5. Miss Currant Blackcurrant Powder- Keen to give a gift of health? This antioxidant-loaded NZ Blackcurrant powder is backed by latest scientific research. It claims to improve from both inside and outside. 
Why are NZ blackcurrants so high in antioxidants? We are talking 3 x Blueberry, 5 x Raspberry and 30 x Cranberry. It’s because of our uniquely harsh weather and high UV index. This high Anthocyanin content (+14 other antioxidants) in NZ Blackcurrants is a protective mechanism for the plant. Good for us humans though. Understandably, it helps us humans combat free radical damage caused by harmful UV rays and pollution. 
Taking this supplement can help prevent coronary diseases and age-related degenerative diseases (such as memory loss, Parkinson’s). Studies have also shown that it eases muscle stiffness before and after exercise. They even noticed greater willpower during exercising. This supplement has anti-aging benefits as it boosts collagen production. Collagen is a protein that degenerates in our skin as we age, resulting in skin losing its firmness and elasticity. There are various other immunity-boosting benefits of Blackcurrant powder. 

If you are in doubt, always consult your GP though.

It tastes absolutely delish I can confirm. It can be used in many ways- mixed with warm water as a soothing drink, for baking or in smoothies. However you may like. The brand has offered me a 20% discount code for you guys if you are interested to grab some for friends or family (or even yourself). Use the code NISHU20 on their website here. 2019 has been all about self-love, right?

6. Books- A good book has the power to change lives. It truly does! I read one that cured my back pain. No kidding. Healing Back Pain by Dr John Sarno  (more about this episode and my chronic back pain here). There are some others that I’ve read that have changed me a person- Think and Grow Rich, Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Barefoot Investor (yes! I have a thing for financial jargon). A book is the best gift there is.

Here are a couple of baby and toddler books that are Aiza's favourites. All the classics really. My 15-month-old is obsessed with - A Little Hungry Caterpillar, Hands Can, Dear Zoo, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. You can purchase these online at Book Depository website or your nearest book store. If you are keen to know more of our favourites, hit me up. We love baby books with a passion. 

7.  Karen Murrell Lipstick Gift Set- Some loved ones will prefer indulgent gifts. Here’s one for the ladies that are all-natural, luxurious and affordable even. Karen Murrell makes the best lipsticks. These lipsticks are designed in NZ and made from the finest natural and nourishing ingredients, including avocado and evening primrose oils, candelilla, carnauba wax, cinnamon and sweet orange to treat your lips with every application.

This Karen Murrell 3-piece gift set is perfectly packed in festive red. It has 3 of Karen Murrell's bestselling lipsticks for an amazing price of $78. My mom is getting this set as her Christmas present (like every other year because she is a Karen Murrell fan). No better gift than a gift that will be used every day!

Available at your nearest Pharmacy and Karen Murrell website online (here).

8. Wet n Wild Christmas Gift sets- Speaking of makeup and gift sets that are perfectly packaged for this season, Wet n Wild has released some beautiful makeup sets. This mini mascara set is just gorgeous (and so usable). For $19.99,  a set of 5 mascara mini's, packaged perfectly to gift to a makeup junkie. Wet n Wild has also released other holiday season gift packs such as the Prep and Prime Gift Set ($24.99) and a stunning 32 pan eyeshadow palette ($29.99). These are available at your nearest Farmers store in NZ. I believe this is a perfect secret Santa gift too. Easy on the wallet and functional at the same time. Those secret Santa gifts are notorious for being cheap trash.

9. Supermarket Voucher- My favourite gift will always be cash and the next best thing is a supermarket voucher because we can all do with a little more money while grocery shopping. You know to buy those baked pea crisps or the gourmet chocolate with sea-salt flakes that I keep eyeing every week. All the little joys and indulgences. Hence, a supermarket voucher is what gets me excited. All the food I could buy for the holidays! In the end, it’s all about the food anyway. Ain't it?

This is my short and sweet holiday gift guide. No fancy products, no heavily packaged trash. Just some thoughtfulness and lots of joy. I hope you can relate to mindful consumption as well, as opposed to the mindless retail therapy that the marketers believe we crave. 

Are you sorted with your Christmas gifts? Give me a peek into your shopping cart please? Are you dropping hints for your partner? Tell me tell me! What's on your wish-list?

On my wish-list is a learning tower for my baby girl so she can accompany me in the kitchen. I've been eyeing this Arc Assistant since last few months. Maybe I'll bite the bullet if they have good specials on boxing day. We really need one as Aiza wants to participate in everything happening on the kitchen bench. 
That is all we want for this season. I hope this post gives you some thoughtful gift ideas too. 

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

Loads of love

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