A Man’s Guide To Buying The Perfect Christmas Gift, Without Costing The Earth

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About Neil Hill

Neil Hill is one of Europe’s top outdoor, wilderness and survival coaches. He believes that our modern disconnect from nature has led to many of our personal, physical and social problems. He has led courses into some of the worlds most hostile and wild environments. His passion is to reconnect people with their aboriginal roots in nature, enabling them to have adventures and experiences that unlock their massive potential, Neil is the co-founder of Earth Strength.


  1. you forgot one.. well not really because it comes into all of them. That is time.. the simplest thing any one can give to another is time.. time to listen, time to sit, time to walk, time to reach out, time to be held and hold on.. time is a seldom shared very precious thing. The other thing to remember, keeping in line with the time thing, is that there’s no need to head off on courses, simply open the front door and rediscover the wildness around you even in the barest of concrete jungles we can all find signs of wild, and as such we should all take the time to notice, explore and share it

    • Thank you Jay, that’s beautifully put. Time is one of those things that people have in indigenous culture. Time for dance, song, music, storytelling, ritual, touching and just sitting around a campfire. We may mistakenly call them primitive, but in reality we have so much to learn from our aboriginal brothers and sisters……

  2. Wilhelm Cortez says:

    Inspirations for imagination are the best gifts!

  3. Another idea to add to your wonderful list is giving a donation to programs that provide a flock of ducks, a milking goat, or a dug well for communities in impoverished nations. I know that concept helped my kids understand how fortunate they have it being able to go to the sink for a glass of clean water.

  4. Great suggestions. One of my favorites is to share a skill. Is there something you can teach another. It might be how to make roast belly pork with pak choi and rice. Or maybe you can show someone who to play a song with three chords. (Ring of Fire anyone?). Maybe I can swap that for some juggling lessons?

  5. Jim Cummings says:

    A few years ago, I had a friend listen to me as I thought of ways in which I made things hard for my partner or let slide male privilege. I gave her coupons to interrupt these. One was good for an immediate shut up. One was good for putting our son to bed. I do not remember the others. While she has never invoked them, the thought behind them was appreciated.

  6. I appreciate the thoughtfulness in the article, Neil. These are heart-felt suggestions for gift giving. The basic truth is that holiday gift giving is no substitute for ignoring the disadvantaged, homeless, or poor throughout the year. For us to fail to share with others and keep our face in the trough of consumerism is a greater shame. Pope Francis has something to say about that…
    “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”

    • Jeeva, whilst you are right, that gift giving is no substitute for basic societal decency, it at least offers a focus or opportunity to break away from the daily routine of ignoring those people with less in their lives. In the same way, the joy that giving or simply looking after the earth brings, may also help people to realise that keeping ”their faces in the trough of consumerism” isn’t quite as rewarding as it appears to be……

  7. Great article, Neil! I especially like the suggestion of doing some Nature activity with your children. Time with them when they are young means a lot less trouble when they are older. P.S. That Mom along,too, and all share in preparing the meals etc. Om Shanti

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