Checks Presents the Three Ultimate Christimas Gifts

Dear faithful Checks Community, 
Twelve days left until Christmas, but obviously we could not care less about Christmas, this commercialised and old-fogyish tradition of giving and receiving presents – so materialistic – so outdated. We, the post-materialist generation, we find our happiness in enriching friendships, low-budget travel experiences all around the world, fulfilling jobs, and last but not least the mastering of great challenges on our way, be it increasing integration of the European Union or the recently adopted Paris Agreements against Climate Change.

However, for all, who could not spontaneously identify with this description, and those who are still looking forward to swapping presents under the Christmas Tree we collected a compilation of three (more or less) materialistic presents, you can put on your wish list or give to your dearest friend, boyfriend, step-brother or great grandaunt.

#3 – Scratch Map – A must-have for every world traveller!

The scratch map is a world map, covered with a special plain layer which hides the colourful surface underneath. The fun thing about the scratch map is – obviously – the scratching. The conventional practice is to scratch free all the parts of the world, where the owner of the map already has been. A scratch map in you room has three functions – on the one hand it is an indirect but persistent reminder of your plans to discover the world. Secondly it serves as a perfect presentation of your so far world-travel experiences, and you can indulge in reminiscences from time to time.  Thirdly, the scratching itself it great fun!

#2 – Membership or subscription of a magazine/ journal or newspaper (preferably Checks&Balances magazine)

Although this is something rather costly, let me try to convince you of the high value of a subscription to a magazine or newspaper. In times, when we can access an amplitude of different news for free, from all perspectives, all regions and all political colours you might think that a commercial subscription of a print or digital version is not necessary. But the value of high-quality, well researched and peer-reviewed journalism gives you much more than the newest information update you could access on any online portal. Especially background information, long-term developments and causes miss out in the free-accessible domain of journalism. Furthermore there is a second advantage of a subscription: The knowledge that you (or someone else) spend money on your subscription makes you feel responsible to actually do it, to force yourself to sit down for twenty minutes every day and read well-written articles. I think it even has something relaxing and balances the dull routine of everyday life. The selection of the journal, newspaper or magazine is of course your choice!

#1 – CO2 Compensation – Improve your eco-balance!

You are keen on visiting other places, but on the same time you feel bad about the massive pollution your flights are causing? CO2 compensation payments are a nice way to compensate some of the ecological damage you caused by using the plane/cruiser or any other means of transport.
CO2 compensation payments is as simple and straightforward as it can get. It calculates the pollution you as an individual caused by using the plane and expresses the value in currency. Not only you learn how much pollution you caused but also how privileged you are – when you compare your emission with people living in India, Rwanda or China. The aim of CO2 compensation is not to make you feel bad – but quite the contrary. Your compensation payment will be donated to projects protecting the climate and you get informed about your individual responsibility.  CO2 compensation is obviously not an excuse for unconstrained and extensive use of airplanes but it might be a good first step to react on the dilemma of cheap versus responsible consumption.  Here is the page, where you find more information about CO2 compensation and there you can do the payments.

I hope, we could inspire you with these suggestions and I wish you a very pleasant, post-materialistic Christmas!

Featured Image:

User:Husky (, „Coca-cola truck“,

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