Together for tomorrow


12 Charming gift ideas that will make a difference

by | Dec 7, 2023

The festive season is rife with waste, from unwanted gifts to piles of unnecessary wrapping paper and plastic. Every year we encourage you to give consciously, choosing gifts that are locally made in small batches, carry an important message, or are intangible and personal. Here is our curated list of gifts that can make a difference while delighting your loved ones.

Material gifts


1. Give Her Hope soap

Give Her Hope takes the classic gift of a bar of soap and gives it an artisanal and considered touch. The NPO trains women living in Sea Point battling systemic injustices and teaches them to make handmade, all-natural soaps. These soaps are vegan, cruelty-free, conscientiously packaged, and contain nothing but natural oils. Alongside their selection of cleansing bars, there is also a range of cotton face cloths, artfully knitted by the women of the organisation. Find out more here: Give Her Hope

2. Speel game

The Backgammon Towel is a multi-functional piece that serves as both a highly absorbent beach towel and a portable Backgammon set. Each towel is made to order in Cape Town, where it’s woven using 100% cotton. Speel sets include hand-carved pine and meranti wood chequers, injection moulded dice, and a bull denim bag to ensure your pieces don’t get lost amongst the sand. Find out more here: Speel

3. Spier wines and produce

A bottle of wine is a timeless and easy present which is easy to enhance with personal touches. Spier wine is always well received; Spier wine paired with carefully chosen gifts even more so. For the sociable friend who loves to host, they have a gift set with a stylish wooden tray and a jar of preserved figs. For the creative in your life, there’s a one-of-a-kind local artwork, each inspired by a bottle of Creative Block. You can also select options from Spier’s excellent organic wine options. Find out more here: Spier: The art of gifting

4. Baskiti

Baskiti employs Cape Town artisans to skillfully weave beautiful and functional baskets and homeware. The Flower Basket is a versatile piece, lending itself well to the art of gift-giving. Available in two sizes, this basket sits beautifully in a bedroom, on a kitchen counter, or as a blanket storage solution for the lounge. For an extra touch, gift it pre-loaded with an array of fresh citrus fruits. Find out more here: Baskiti

Non-material gifts


5. Yoga sessions

Benefitting both mind and body, yoga lessons are a practical and thoughtful gift, especially for someone who needs a gentle push towards carving out more me-time. The Nest Space is a yoga centre with inclusivity at its core, platforming yogis of colour and hosting classes for all skill levels. Besides one of their class packages, they also sell tickets to their events: a mindful morning walk for a nature lover or a full moon ceremony for the friend who knows their sun from their rising sign. Find out more here: The Nest Space

6. Pottery classes

Pottery lessons offer a meditative and creative practice while learning a useful skill. Clay Hands welcomes absolute beginners to take part in their sessions, where clay and guidance are unlimited. A great gift for the creative in your life, or the person who’s looking for their next hobby. Find out more here: Clay Hands

7. Donation

From delivering water to local communities to providing aid to Palestine, the reach and impact of Gift of the Givers is far and wide. Consider donating to the foundation in a loved one’s name as a gift to them and the greater good. Find out more here: Gift of the Givers

8. Subscription

Access to independent and quality journalism is crucial, today more than ever. A subscription to Daily Maverick includes their newsletter, ad-free browsing, webinars with journalists and more. Plus it helps to keep their important investigative work free for all to read. Find out more here: Daily Maverick

Children’s gifts


9. Books

The gift of a book goes a long way, enjoyed over multiple bedtimes and easily passed along to another young reader. Zandi’s Song is written by South Africa’s first black female freediving instructor and creates a sense of awe and appreciation for the ocean through a captivating storyline alongside magical illustrations. Find out more here: Zandi’s Song by Zandile Ndhlovu

Refiloe Moahloli is fast becoming a household name for her modern South African-centric children’s books. Her latest offering, A Friend For All Seasons, is a story of celebration that teaches acceptance and kindness.

Both books are available in Afrikaans, English, Sesotho, Xhosa and Zulu. Find out more here: A Friend For All Seasons by Refiloe Moahloli

10. Blankets from Africa for clothes and blankets

Blankets from Africa equips unemployed women in the Karoo with needles and knowledge to produce items using the wool from the sheep that surround the area. Knitting and crocheting together provides an income and creates a sense of community and achievement amongst these women. Crafted using pure wool, their rompers and blankets are ideal for young children’s sensitive skin, while their knit-your-own kits are perfect for the creative (or ambitious!) parent. Find out more here: Blankets from Africa

11. Acrobranch adventure

The kids in your life likely have an abundance of toys, while gifting them an experience will create lasting memories and enrich their lives. Acrobranch offers kids the opportunity to swing from the treetops and balance on floating ladders and ropes, all under the watchful eye of professionals. Kids enjoy an exhilarating outdoor experience, developing physical skills and an appreciation for nature while doing so. Find out more here: Acrobranch

12. Stumped toys

Local toymakers Stumped source untreated timber from sustainable forests to create child-friendly DIY kits. Catering to the early childhood desire to do as adults do, their kits are safe for children to complete and result in practical and useful toys. One kit creates a fully functional can crusher, encouraging recycling through an immensely satisfying play experience. Find out more here: Stumped


  • Images supplied
  • Feature image of Clay of Hands pottery
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