Last year, the most enjoyable bit of our Christmas shopping was our alternative Christmas cards and it might be something you want to try for yourself. It’s a bit complex, so I’ve written out the process step-by-step…
- Write a list of people you would usually buy cards for
- Find your nearest charity bookshop
- Buy everyone a book
It’s simple and fun, but you never know what you’ll find in stock and that makes it even more interesting. We spent a couple of hours in an Oxfam Books and delighted the volunteer staff with the total number of books we bought.
I like to look for books I don’t think people would buy themselves, but that they might find interesting. It’s a lot of fun, and a great way to spend time thinking about the people you love. And for people who “don’t do books” there’s usually something funny or silly.
On top of all that, most books in most charity shops costs less than a regular gift card from a supermarket. And the whole cost of your book is a charitable donation, rather than the few pennies in royalties that charities get from most boxed Christmas cards.
You can (and should!) write a message in the front of a book, and there’s a whole load more value in the content than you’d find in any card.
And if I haven’t sold this idea hard enough already, the kind of people who do their Christmas shopping in charity book shops are awesome. It’s a refreshing antidote to the rudeness and madness that takes over the rest of the high street around now.