A meaningful Christmas means less stuff29 Nov 2018
With Christmas pretty close, people are talking about the Christmas shopping. The next line often includes something about how much they dislike it. I have a solution, don’t do any.
Well that’s not exactly what I mean. Giving gifts makes us feel good about ourselves. However we can be more conscious in how we purchase gifts.
Adults are easy
1. Your adult family and friends don’t need anything - probably don’t really want anything and you would actually be doing them a favour not giving them something they are only going to need to re-gift, clean or throw out. If you do really want to get them something, help them in making their lives waste free, reusable products and ethical online stores like Biome, Earth Bottles and Onya are always a good options.
2. Give an experience - Depending on your budget, you could get them a holiday, a meal at a nice restaurant, a picnic or organised walk in nature or tickets to an show, festival or concert.
3. Combine resources - If they are in need of something major or expensive, why not team up with a few friends or relatives and chip in to get them that new camera or computer? 1x needed special gift that they will be so ecstatic about.
Concert or festival tickets are a great way to show you care.
Kids dig getting presents and I remember counting down to Christmas day as a kid, it was the best! It’s a tough one and certain ages are just going to want to see volume under the tree. Maybe discussing how Santa is going zero waste might not go down well? But, maybe it will? "He’s helping us save the planet, becoming a minimalist, starting to specialize in regifting second hand prezzies" etc. Kids might actually get that better than anyone?
And so some of the same principles will work for kids as well.
1. Focus on quality or educational - Things that might last for years rather than weeks. There are many gifts as a child that I just can’t remember, but there are things that just hung around and were used for years. Things like building blocks and the good old BMX bike. Combine forces and get something really great if it’s a little more expensive.
2. Experiences - Just like adults kids love to be involved in a family or friends event. Book a kids concert or take them on an outdoor adventure that’s all about them.
3. Second hand or hand-made – A restoration or artistic project together to create a present for someone else is far more special than simply buying some mass produced non personal ‘thing’. Showing your kids that second hand quality is special is setting them off on the right foot as conscious consuming adults. Keeping up with the Jones’s will be a thing of the past for future generations and we’ll have far less waste in the future.
Surely the most important thing about Christmas time is the word “time”? You are given time away from work to spend it with family and friends, not to generate as much waste as possible. Enjoy some laughs and get out into nature, that’s what its all about.
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