Blog #47: Christmas for CreationKeepers: Xmas gifts ...   

December 2, 2021
Monika Weber-Fahr
Three weeks left ‘til Christmas eve: It’s time for some thoughts on Xmas presents - from a CreationKeepers' perspective, of course.  We have been brainstorming and looking around on behalf of our readers - to see what presents there may be that use little or no (excessive) environmental resources, or that may even make things better for creation & co. So: if you still have not figured out what to give to your loved ones, here are a few suggestions that would reflect your interest or wish to help keep our planet alive and enjoyable for future generations.
One big category on the list of CreationKeepers’ Xmas gifts is the category of the immaterial.  Immaterial gifts can include love, compliments, time, and probably many other things that do not or only barely involve the use of environmental resources. Giving time can be beautiful to give and to use - and such gifts might involve a card or voucher that can be creatively decorated.  The voucher or card would describe the gift - such as giving time to be spent together (five times going for a walk together), time to do something for someone else that they don’t particularly enjoy (voucher for three times doing the dishes for you, or a voucher for time to repair the bicycle), or even time to do something special or extraordinary (time to go to that special museum exhibition, time to take you on that famous hike).
A second category of great CreationKeeper gifts includes material gifts but only involves products that come with a sustainability background and/or a particularly low environmental footprint. This can include products found in green or fair trade stores just as much as products explicitly sourced locally or seasonally or in a thrift shop. One obvious choice for those of us here in Christ Church is, of course, the our Church shop - where anything you purchase has already been used by someone else. The 48er Tandler - normally my go-to place for purchasing used-and-re-covered items - would have been on my list, but with this season’s COVID restrictions, the shop is regrettably neither open nor ready to do click and collect. Beyond shops promoting re-use, you can also get interesting things if you focus for example on products from zero waste stores: There is a list of Austrian zero waste stores that sell online, but you can also shop at any of the multiple zero waste stores in Vienna.

Foto: You might want to choose a gift that promotes or supports sustainable behavior, and the socks from the WienerLinien Fan Shop are a great example: They are colorful and happy-looking, and they are a daily reminder that taking the metro (U-Bahn) can be fun. Check out the Fan Shop - great little things there. 

A third category - and for me the most fun amongst the three - are material or immaterial things that might incite the recipients to adopt more sustainable behaviors themselves. For this, you could venture into the area of bathroom products that allow the user to maintain a lower environmental footprint than the alternative: Anything avoiding plastic packaging would already qualify - starting with beautiful soap bars for hand or body, through shampoo bars, to tooth-paste powder or tablets none of which come in plastic containers. Our very own Blog#7 can walk you through the details. Another great area of options in this category includes gifts that might encourage the use of public transport: On the (very) upper price range, you could of course resort to gifting the Vienna annual ticket, on the lower (perhaps more reasonable) end of the spectrum would be any of the assorted products available in the Wiener Linien Fan Store, including a Wiener Linien coffee mug or even Wiener Linien socks. Lastly, in the category of the more pedagogical gifts would be things that might allow or even incite the recipient to avoid waste alltogether - such as tin or steel boxes, water or tea bottles or re-usable cutlery for your take-out lunch, or a voucher for a shopping trip to a zero-waste store.  If you want to get your loved one interested in nature, you might give them a voucher to sponsor/be godparent to a beehive, right here in Vienna, or you might just give them a membership for a nature conservation organization - possibly starting with a Zoo visitors’ pass.  Finally, you can of course venture into the world of cycling: Offering a bicycle as a gift might be a bit too much, but not all bikes are transport bikes or were otherwise borne on the upper end. And in the meantime, you can always simply resort to cool and useful things to wear on a bicycle in order to fight off the elements in this wet and cold season. Pick whatever you can do to encourage avoiding the use of a car ...
Last piece of advice: Don’t stop at getting such beautiful gifts for your loved ones - some of them may also be something that you yourself might like!  Make a personalized CreationKeepers' Xmas wish list and inspire those that love you to go out and get you one of them! Or just get them yourself!.
And if you want to know what’s topping my personal (CreationKeeper inspired) wish list: Time. Time. Time. And a stainless steel lunchbox. And yes: The little angels at our home have been told ;-).
Inspired? Thoughts or reactions? Or ideas for forthcoming blogs?  We look forward to hearing from you - best via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..