Re-Inventing Christmas As A Time For Giving, The 21st Century Way
It has traditionally been a holiday to spend time with loved ones, to give them presents, and generally reflect on how the struggles and triumphs we experienced throughout the year have changed us for the better.
We spent our childhood Christmases with our families as we decorated trees, watched Christmas-themed movies (I’m pretty sure I’ve caught Home Alone every year since I was 4) and caught up with family we rarely saw.[caption id="attachment_19610" align="alignnone" width="600"] Asia For Good!
Giving Back The 21st Century Way[caption id="attachment_19611" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Eco-friendly Christmas[/caption]
First, why not have a green Christmas by being eco-friendly?
Christmas is definitely the most magical time of the year, but it’s also one of the most wasteful. Just think of all the wrapping paper and cards you chuck each year! Switch things up by going green this festive season, and do your part for Mother Earth.[caption id="attachment_19612" align="alignnone" width="819"] Christmas Hacks[/caption]
For starters, try out these super simple sustainable Christmas hacks, like putting your gifts in a reusable tote, or making your very own recycled wrapping paper out of old packaging![caption id="attachment_19613" align="alignnone" width="620"] Biotrap[/caption]
Next, you can crowdfund, or give a micro-loan to help someone’s wish come true.
Today, technological advances have made it more convenient to give to the less fortunate, and giving back to society has never been easier.
Social enterprises like projects.
Better still, when repaid, you can choose to lend the money to someone else, making it a gift that truly keeps giving.
You can also play a part in the development of mind-blowing social innovations – like these bio-degradable mosquito traps to combat Zika, by funding them on platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.[caption id="attachment_19614" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Socially Conscious Christmas Gift Guide [/caption]
Now, we all love Christmas, but it has a tendency to be a commercial affair and a celebration of consumerism (let’s face it, who doesn’t love an excuse to binge shop!).
Therefore, instead of getting run-of- the-mill hampers, why not do Christmas differently with quirky gifts that give back to communities in need.
For instance, when you buy Yellow Leaf Hammocks’ ridiculously comfortable hammocks, you’re empowering artisan weavers in Thailand, and improving their lives and livelihoods.[caption id="attachment_19615" align="alignnone" width="1024"] cool gadgets like Luminaid’s colour-changing solar lanterns and TOMS’ Apple Watch straps.
For each one you buy, proceeds will go straight to communities in need.
[caption id="attachment_19616" align="alignnone" width="650"] Creative Ways To Give Back[/caption]
You can also make a statement by trying new, unique, and meaningful activities with your loved ones this Christmas.
Try cooking a meal for families in need, or round up your bill to the nearest $10 for a good cause at Timbre (Timbre will match your donations dollar-for- dollar, and the proceeds will go towards medical treatments for patients who cannot afford it).
There are so many simple and creative ways to give back that will not only let you create special memories with those closest to you, but also help to spread the Christmas cheer to the less fortunate.[caption id="attachment_19617" align="alignnone" width="900"] Festive Eating To Festive Giving [/caption]
Did you know that you can even feast for a good cause? Have your feast and give back too, by indulging in yuletide feasting at restaurants that employ the marginalized.
For example, dine at restaurants that train ex-offenders in culinary skills to help them get their lives back on track. Soon Huat Dining House at Chinatown Point.[caption id="attachment_19620" align="alignnone" width="400"] Give Back This Festive Season[/caption]
So this Christmas, instead of struggling to find presents on the streets of Orchard Road (which, let’s admit is going to be crowded with other Christmas shoppers), why not take these options into consideration to make your Christmas an extra special one?
Asia for Good is reinventing the spirit of giving back this Christmas with their socially conscious gift guides and hacks for a merrier, more sustainable way to celebrate the festive season!
Asia For Good[caption id="attachment_19619" align="alignnone" width="1024"] DBS Foundation[/caption]
The team at Asia For Good believes that consumers have the power to create positive change, and the good news is that socially conscious living is actually really easy!
You just have to continue doing the things you already love – like eating, shopping, and traveling, but this time, with companies that make a difference.
Their lifestyle-oriented stories on the Asia For Good website covers everything from cool social innovations, to socially-conscious restaurant reviews, so that you can live ethically and effortlessly.
What’s more, the website also features a regional directory of social enterprises to connect you with businesses (like cafes that hire ex-offenders, and companies that make eco-friendly bamboo tissues) that are giving back and creating a positive impact in society.
Visit https://www.asiaforgood.com to find out more.
Also Read: What If We Told You, You’ve Been Choosing Your Christmas Gifts Wrong All Along?
What If We Told You, You’ve Been Choosing Your Christmas Gifts Wrong All Along?
Let’s be honest, while we Singaporeans love Christmas (the lights, the food, the endless parties and get-togethers!), picking out the perfect gifts for family and friends can be pretty tough.
We can readily admit that pinning down that unique, extra special and thoughtful gift for a loved one is no easy feat.
Chances are, after hours of searching and walking up and down Orchard Road, you would have settled for the typical gift sets, hampers and bags of sweet treats to give out to family, friends and colleagues (don’t even try to deny it)![caption id="attachment_19318" align="alignnone" width="1024"] the Nail Social for a relaxing spa day. Located along Haji Lane, this nail spa offers up manicures and pedicures for ladies and gents!
Using only products that are non-toxic, eco-friendly, fair-trade and/or cruelty-free, the Nail Social is also a socially-conscious salon that trains and employ underprivileged women, who often face a higher barrier to employment. The Nail Social in partnership with The Pink Room International Nail Academy co- sponsor Professional Manicurist Courses, which beneficiaries undergo enabling them to pick up skills of the trade.
Nail Social is probably one of the most comfortable nail spas around, with personal iPads loaded with movies and complimentary glasses of wine on weekends, guests are definitely in for a treat. The best news? Nail Spa can also play host to your bridal showers and intimate get-togethers!
The Nail Social
42A Haji Lane (2nd Floor), S189235
Opening Hours: Weekdays 11am – 9pm; Weekends 10am – 8pm
Contact: Phone +65 6717 3221 ; Whatsapp +65 8145 5226
[caption id="attachment_19272" align="alignnone" width="1024"] AsiaForGood[/caption]
Founded by a group of local Singaporeans who were keen to overthrow the idea that Singapore is boring, Geylang Adventures strives to explore the different dimensions of Geylang while creating a more harmonious and welcoming society for all.
During the Geylang Adventures Trail, guests will get to explore the winding lorongs and back alleys and experience firsthand the eco-system that forms the backbone of Geylang. Intertwining stories of childhood adventures and interactions with the people who spend their days and nights in Geylang, the Geylang Adventures Trail hopes to break down barriers and open our eyes to a different side of this historic neighbourhood.[caption id="attachment_19275" align="alignnone" width="960"] Geylang Adventures
Geylang Adventures Trail
Daily, 7pm – 10pm
Weekdays: $35, Weekends: $40
Contact: [email protected]
3. Enjoy A Tranquil Moment @ Hush TeaBar[caption id="attachment_19276" align="alignnone" width="955"] 4. Coffee Appreciation Courses @ Bettr Barista Coffee Academy [caption id="attachment_19278" align="alignnone" width="1024"] DBS[/caption]
Not just a place to learn to appreciate coffee blends (not to mention unleash your inner hipster), Bettr Barista also trains women and at-risk youth to be baristas. A firm believer in holistic well-being, they also offer emotional development and physical skills training.
For more information on Bettr Barista Coffee Academy:
Bettr Barista Coffee Academy
37 Mactaggart Road, #07-03, S368083
Opening Hours: Weekdays 10.30am – 5pm; Saturday 10.30am – 2pm; Sunday Closed
Contact: +65 6509 0113
5. Learn How To Whip Local Delicacies @ Food Playground[caption id="attachment_19280" align="alignnone" width="550"] Food Playground[/caption]
Learning to cook is a skill most of us sorely lack (no, instant noodles don’t count!), but fortunately, there are cooking schools here in Singapore where we can pick up some culinary skills!
Food Playground offers three-hour long cooking classes where participants can have a go at whipping up local favorites such as Nasi Lemak, Chicken Rice and Laksa![caption id="attachment_19281" align="alignnone" width="459"] have a festive meal for a good cause at these restaurants that give back!
For more information of Food Playground: https://www.foodplayground.com.sg/
24A Sago St, S059020
6. Dine In The Dark @ Dialogue In The Dark[caption id="attachment_19282" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Dialogue In the Dark[/caption]
Looking for a unique experience like no other? Dialogue In The Dark may just have what you’re looking for!
Located at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Dialogue In The Dark enables local Singaporeans to “learn to see in the darkness”. Guests will go through a guided one-hour long tour, where they will walk around a typical housing estate, and later sail down the Singapore River – experiencing everyday environments that are vastly different without the gift of sight.
If you’re looking for something a bit more intimate, Dialogue In The Dark also features Lunch in the Dark.
Guests will have a chance to experience a full course meal in complete darkness. Relying on other senses such as sound and touch, guests are encouraged to communicate, and help each other ease their fears and apprehension throughout the experience – perfect for that friend who’s keen on trying out something truly unique![caption id="attachment_19283" align="alignnone" width="1024"] SG Socially Conscious[/caption]
Most of us have tried our hand at picking up a new language. Let’s be honest – most, if not all of us, know a handful words from another language (the perks of being born in Singapore!), but picking up a new language using just your hands is a whole new experience.
At Extraordinary Horizons, participants would be able to pick up basic Sign Language. If you’re keen on delving deeper into how the deaf communities live their daily lives, Extraordinary Horizons offers customizable workshops where you can experience music, dance and song appreciation for the deaf![caption id="attachment_19285" align="alignnone" width="720"] Singapore Sign Language Club[/caption]
Extraordinary Horizons strives to promote deaf awareness through their sign language courses, workshops and outreach programs. EO Horizons also features performances by those dabbling in the deaf performing arts scene in Singapore, and helps the disadvantaged gain self-confidence as well as attain life skills and knowledge!
Entrepreneurs with Disabilities
3 Coleman St, #04-04, S179804
Scape Co Ltd
2 Orchard Link, #04-01, S23797
Contact: [email protected][caption id="attachment_19286" align="alignnone" width="500"] Family Christmas[/caption]
Let’s be honest, most of us can’t use that many bath and beauty products at any one time. So this year, instead of popping by a store for those yearly gift boxes head down to any of these 7 local social enterprises and have a unique Christmas experience!
Feeling inspired? Check out this list of fun events that give back this festive season.
If you’re looking to make your Christmas one that really counts, check out Asia For Good’s socially conscious gift guides and hacks for a merrier Christmas!
(feature image: Reignite The Magic Of Christmas On Orchard Road With ION’s Tiffany & Co. Xmas Tree!