Get conscious - not crazy this Christmas
It is almost THAT time again. Time for rushing around the shops, baking sugary treats, spending too much money on gifts because ‘you just can’t help yourself’, stocking up on candy canes in case the neighbours kids drop by, working crazy hours in retail to fit everything in before closing the doors for 2 or 3 days, covering the house in tinsel, glitter and lights and falling in a heap when the big day finally arrives! Does this sound like you? I think it relates to most of us in one way or another, but each year I find myself contemplating how to do things differently.
I love Christmas, decorations, food and gift giving just as much (or maybe more) than the next person BUT I feel like there is a smarter way to approach this crazy month of December.
Let’s start with the FOOD. Instead of preparing enough food to feed an army and having left overs in the fridge for a month, why not CUT BACK this year and buy and bake only the food you need for the actual number of guests you know you are going to have. We all love a special treat on Christmas and hell, busting out the rum balls and a nice crisp wine is nearly the best part BUT I am always SUPER mindful of the fact that there are starving people all over the world and many homeless Australians that will be just surviving Christmas day, while most of us have an absolute abundance of unnecessary food that could very well last us for the next 6 months. I would love to encourage you to think about where you could cut back when it comes to buying your Christmas groceries or when you start baking up a White Christmas storm in the coming weeks.
Giving GIFTS - this is what I love most about Christmas (and birthdays!) I love giving gifts! But I don’t love just buying things simply for the sake of buying things. The other issue is that mostly, we all have the things we really want and need already, thanks to Kmart and Online shopping. I think gifts should be purchased (or handmade) with the special recipient in mind and knowing that they will find meaning and joy in that gift, regardless of the price. Supermarkets don’t make it easy for us with their special buys, 2 for 1’s and all the last minute in your face, junky stocking fillers just calling for you to spend a little bit MORE! The challenge here is to make the decision to be a conscious shopper and to purchase only items that you truly need or love. This year my family has decided to do handmade gifts with a budget of $50. This means we have to get creative and really think of something that each person would appreciate. It also means you can gift things that are useful and are more meaningful as they have been handmade with love.
Quit the plastic! When looking around at wrapping, decorations, table ware and even gifts themselves all I see is plastic plastic plastic ... and what a waste! With HALF of the plastic EVER PRODUCED in the world STILL IN EXISTENCE it would be my dreammmmm if everybody consciously made an effort not to purchase these throw away items. I’ll share my Christmas choices around plastic with you
· I am using real glassware, cutlery and crockery … come on – we have dish washers these days it’s not that hard!
· No plastic table cloth for me – wipe the table down once you are finished?
· Wrapping paper will be brown paper, twine and some dried flowers – sounds beautiful doesn’t it?
· I am buying a REAL Christmas tree and have made decorations out of sticks, seed pods, paper, pine cones, material, string and anything else you can think of. I still use my old plastic decorations but as they fall apart, I won’t replace them again. Get creative and crafty and enjoy thinking about how to make something beautiful that doesn’t cost the earth – literally!
· I am baking and giving gifts that need packaging - which would usually call for chinese containers or plastic wrap etc but I am using glass jars. I have a big collection that I am able to recycle and reuse and I have also bought some from the cheap shop that cost $2! Seriously how easy is that?
· No cling wrap or plastic wrap for the dishes that I prepare to take to social get togethers. I use beeswax wraps or cloth food covers instead!
We vote with our dollar every time we buy into the mass-produced products that are made in China, single use, throw away items. We vote with our dollar every time we purchase plastic ANYTHING, (it says we are asking for more plastic to be produced) and we are adding to the tremendous amount of waste that happens each Christmas when we buy mountains of food that we don’t need.
Ask yourself, how can you be more conscious of your plastic, food and monetary waste this Christmas? Just some food for thought … yum … bring on the trifle!
Merry Christmas xx