Gift-giving season is upon us, and sometimes it can be tricky to find the perfect present for the special people in our life. None of us want to revert to buying the same old boring scented candle and bath salts time and time again. Ideally, a gift should be personal and improve the life of the person who receives it. But with budget and time constraints, it can be a frustrating task, especially with all your other holiday activities. We’ve rounded up 5 of the best ‘gifts with purpose’ so that you can buy the perfect gift for everyone in your life.

For those with a green thumb

For the people in your life who love the environment, you can sponsor the planting of an indigenous tree by Greenpop. For R120, they will plant the tree somewhere in South Africa or Zambia and give you a certificate with GPS coordinates of where your sponsored tree is located – the perfect gift that will keep on giving.

For those who want to learn

Knowledge is always a powerful gift to give, so if you know someone who needs to learn a new skill or who might benefit from an online course, give them an Educate24 voucher. The online education platform has affordable courses that cover a wide range of industries – from business management and retail work to parenting tips or entrepreneurship. There is something for everyone.

For those with a giving spirit

You’re bound to know someone who would prefer that you give money to charity rather than buy them something personal. With Relate Bracelets, however, you can do both. They are a 100% not-for-profit social enterprise that makes and sells handmade beaded bracelets in support of more than 90 local causes. You can also buy a stack of 10 bracelets for R450 in support of a number of causes, including the Amy Foundation and Shine Literacy. This festive season they have a limited-edition stack in support of the Endangered Wildlife Trust. Buy a stack online at the Relate Bracelets.

For those with everything

There are always people who are impossible to buy a gift for because they already have everything, or their interests are difficult to pin down. It’s a good idea to think out-of-the-box with these people and give them something as unexpected as possible. You could go to Name a Star, which for R225 allows you to choose and name a star after your loved one. This is a unique and timeless gift that nobody would ever see coming!

For those who love animals

‘Adopting’ a wild animal is the perfect gift for friends or family who have a soft spot for anything furry. The adoption fee will go towards your species of choice and many of these organisations send an ‘adoption kit’ that you can wrap and put under the Christmas tree. The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds has a great penguin adoption programme which helps cover the cost of rearing your adopted penguin for release back into the wild. For R700 you will receive an adoption certificate and thank you letter, a photograph of your penguin, an ‘I adopted a penguin’ sticker and a letter of adoption, which includes a brief history of your penguin. For an extra R300, you can adopt one of the birds who are unable to be released back into the wild – meaning you can visit them any time you like.


This article was first published by City Press on 24 December 2016.