Ready to give the crazy present-buying rush a miss this year? Looking for alternatives to the overwhelming consumerism of Christmas? Want to minimise waste and impact on the earth? Here are some fantastic ideas for when you want to give a present that’s not really an actual present but is still a present (if you know what we mean)…

1. Adopt a pygmy elephant, orang-utan, tiger or marine turtle

You can do this in the name of your friend/ family member from the World Wildlife Fund. Supporting an organisation whose mission is to conserve the planet’s natural environment and all the species on it seems like a very good non-present to give.

2. Hold a rummage swap

Get your friends and family together and tell everyone to bring items that are still in good condition but that they have no use for any more. These can include clothing, jewellery, shoes, electrical appliances, books, homewares, crockery, artworks, DVDs etc. Then each person takes a turn to choose a couple of items to take home with them. The rest can then be packed up and donated to charity.

3. Give seeds to grow their own veggie or flower garden

If giving to novice gardeners, make sure you explain how best to grow them. If you gave them seeds for edible plants, you could also provide a recipe or two as suggestions (and motivation).

4. Give compost

Have an abundance of compost in your own garden? It is thoughtful and practical gift to give compost to any budding gardeners in your circle of friends or family. Pop it in a plastic bag, then in a Hessian sack, so it’s easy to transport but still stays dark and damp. You could even tie with a ribbon.

5. Get crafty

Make a personalised collage for friends or family, either by using cut-outs from magazines or by creating one in Photoshop and using images off the net. For the most enjoyment of the recipient, try to include funny photos, their slang phrases, cute memories and favourite quotes. You can then frame it using old or recycled frames found in op shops.

6. Make your own recipe book

For the food-lovers on your list this year, why not make a handmade recipe book filled with exciting and exotic recipes focusing on their favourite types of cuisine? Or for a more nostalgic approach, fill it with a collection of old family recipes and between each recipe, pop a photo from your family photo album, too. For an even more modern version, put it all online by creating a recipe website or blog for them. This way you can continually update it for them each year.

7. Go the goats 

Has your friend ever mentioned that they think goats are the greatest animals? Perhaps consider giving a goat as a gift then. Well, don’t actually give them a real live goat but rather, head to Oxfam Unwrapped and purchase an animal for someone else in real need on their behalf. You can choose from goats, chickens, aquatic birds as well as other essentials like clean water, breakfast for kids and a well. Oxfam Unwrapped helps to transform the lives of people living in poverty by providing education, clean water and other life-changing essentials.

What do you think of our No Present List? If you have some other helpful suggestions, we would love to hear from you, so leave a comment below!