Trying to think of what to give friends, classmates or work colleagues this Christmas? Think beyond chocolate, wine and cheap lollies. 

Warning: the following may be controversial. I’m not trying to be the Grinch, although I did see an awesome Grinch made out of kiwi fruit yesterday, so please keep your comments nice.

Do you intend to buy or bake a little something for your child’s kinder friends, soccer friends, school friends or even your own work friends?

Need a cheap Kris Kringle gift or pressie for the teacher?

Please, take a minute to think about what to get, rather than instantly buying a bag of cheap chocolate, candy canes or a bottle of wine.

There are 24 kids in my son’s class, 9 in his basketball team, 15 in his guitar class, 20 in his karate class, 15 in his chess class and if he gets a small treat from each of them then it certainly adds up. Add to that teachers, family members, coaches, random shop attendants and we just might be able to open our own lolly shop!

I exaggerate, but the world is excessive these days when it comes to ‘special treats’ and it’s making them less special.

I’m happy for my kids to have treats sometimes but as the number of treats increases, the enjoyment per calorie sharply decreases.

I am not opposed to ‘treats’ in fact I love chocolate! On special occasions my children also enjoy a treat but I like them to have quality food, not cheap pseudo chocolate or lollies full of artificial colours.

Some ideas for cheap gifts for kids are; hand made cards, packet of seeds, stickers, stamps, pencils and fun shaped erasers.

 5 top healthy food presents (instead of chocolates and wine)

  • Healthier baked goods, nice relish or salad dressing (check out your local farmers market)
  • Veggie seedlings or a pot with herbs
  • Fruit basket
  • Punnet of berries or some mangoes
  • Foost kids knives

5 non food (but still food related) Kris Kringle presents:

  • Unwrapped Oxfam or CARE gift card (seeds for a Sri Lankan family start from $10)
  • Reusable shopping bag
  • Keepcup (reusable cup for tea and coffee)
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Fun kitchen gadget (I have a giant pencil sharpener for carrots or veggie noodles and slinky apple machines can be found on the Foost website)

So get creative this festive season and think beyond unhealthy food.

Please share some of your suggestions in the comments below.

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  • Something homemade and thoughtful is nice.


  • You make such excellent points – I know this was written in 2014, but it is just as true and relevant in 2015. Our school has stopped all sweet treats for any sports teams/events. The kids are just as happy, if not happier playing the sports and still very much enjoy a bit of fruit after the game. Seeds/bulbs as presents are fantastic! Love some of your other ideas too – can add these to my list of things to look out for. Thanks.


  • Oh my god, these are fantastic gifts! I rack my brain every year for the little gifts for many and usually end up buying cheap chocolates. These are way better


  • Oops, guilty of this! Might try some baking this time!


  • Fruit baskets are the best ever gift! Almost everyone I know eats fruits!


  • Chocolates are such a go to gift! Half the time I just re gift my choccies because I don’t want to eat them! Oops!


  • My kids like to give out Christmas pens


  • My girls usually like to give out decorated gingerbread.


  • I think most of these tips are fine, except for donating on someone’s behalf. I think that is not a gift for them but for you.


  • Great idea. Love the grinch made out of Kiwi fruit the best


  • My children do not get sweets unless it is a special occasion. Last year it was mini fruit cakes for everyone.


  • Yes I agree with much of this. Even teachers give the kids lollies and chocolates as rewards!!


  • It is always a challenge at Christmas for small gifts for classmates – I have tried spakly pens, baubles and homemade cupcakes…….Last Christmas I was truely tired of all the candy canes.


  • Yes I do think something homemade is always good to give.


  • Some great ideas here, thank you :)


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