I wrote a lot in the lead up to Christmas about the dilemma of trying to remain ethical when it came to selecting presents but, at the same time, actually pleasing people with the gifts we gave them. My focus was solely on that and I didn't even think about receiving. I knew the people in my immediate family, who are doing Footprints with me, would select ethical gifts but it took me completely by surprise the number of extended family and friends that came on-board.
Not everything made in Australia is made ethically and not everything made in China is made unethically. However, it is easier to know how things are manufactured here and we have workplace standards that have to be met. Consequently, it is pleasing to receive things made locally. One of my best friends gave me some locally made pamper products. The same friend gave me chocolate for my birthday but looked into the company before buying. My father gave us Kiva gift vouchers for Christmas and gave me the same for my birthday. It was quite exciting to receive an email from Kiva, within hours of choosing a recipient, to say that the person now had enough money to fund their venture. Here's a link to Kiva if you don't know anything about it and would like to.
I'm citing Christmas and my birthday in a kind of mash up because they're so close together it's hard to remember what I got for which. Some of the other things I remember were some lovely little gifts from Oxfam, being taken op shopping, being taken to the movies to see the midnight screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show and receiving a lovely handmade card from a dear friend who managed to find the time to do so in the middle of writing up her PhD.