Christmas is all about giving and spreading love for most of us. But it can also be an expensive time of over consumption and wastage. Every year I try to cut it back a bit but in the light of some hard hitting documentaries recently on plastic use and the state of the environment, we're going to have a bigger push this year.
I've come up with 10 principles to cut down the wastage of christmas but not the fun:
1. Reduce the number of gifts bought - ways to do this include: secret Santa, setting price limits, one gift limit from Father Christmas, want - need - wear - read is also popular.
2. Experience gifts - theatre, memberships, days out, spa vouchers, riding lessons etc. See my separate blog coming soon on ideas.
3. Buy second hand, especially if plastic - charity shops, fairs, Facebook groups and marketplace, gumtree.
4. Be organised! It’s very hard to buy some eco friendly gifts at the last minute (as I discovered recently for my daughter’s birthday!). I’m currently looking for a second hand playmobil hospital for my daughter for her main Christmas gift for example - I know this would be impossible the week before Christmas.
5. Choose high quality gifts which will last and be used again and again and then handed it sold on.
6. Charity donations can replace gifts and some of your friend's and family might love this idea. For children they can sponsor animals, such as at rescue centres and guided puppies,which can make it easier to understand their gift.
7. Buy small/local/uk - there are many online sellers and great local fairs for this. I'll write a separate post on this soon with a few of my favourites.
8. Make gifts - alcohols, biscuits, jams and pickles, knitting, get that sewing machine out if you have. Or can you learn a new skill in time? Woodworking, upholstering, wreath making, cross stitch, painting, patchworking to name a few.
9. Wrap in recyclable wrapping - brown paper or similar, or recycled gift wrap and tie up with string/ribbon or eco friendly sellotape. Or furoshiki (wrapping in reusable silk) if you have the skills or can join a local course.
10. Do a reverse advent calendar - purchase an item yourself or with your child for a local food bank for every day of December until Christmas. A lovely way to teach your child about giving.
Above all I hope you can enjoy the festive period with your loved ones and spend as much quality time as possible with those who mean most to you. Keeping it simple will help reduce waste and your credit card balance but won't stop the fun!
x x x