After 15 months of rampant consumerism that comes with having a baby I am spent. Emotionally, economically and environmentally. This has coincided with Christmas – the time of year we are all encouraged to spend without thinking but this year it is going to be different. Here’s our Christmas preparations with a green hue…
Presents – This year we are spending less but spending wisely. I have agreed with one set of friends who we only every see these days at birthdays that we are going to have a proper day out together as each other’s Christmas present. For Toby I have been extra careful to get things that will actually last beyond New Year and many have been bought in the local charity shops. Obviously I can’t tell you what I’ve done for everyone else as it will spoil the surprise, but edible items, paper and card, things that will last the test of time and homemade gifts are all in my wrapping pile. My one Christmas wish is that people open their presents from us and think, ‘That’s perfect!’ rather than, ‘oh, that’s really nice’. Time will only tell of course!
Gift wrap – I am such a magpie. I love shiny things and wrapping paper is no different but foil wrapping paper is really hard to recycle and some councils won’t even try to process it. This year I am casting it aside for the huge roll of brown paper that has been with us so long that it is a part of the family and some Christmassy ribbon and tape. Next year I’ll be employing Toby to draw all over it to make it extra ‘Christmassy’.
Cards – OK, I do this every year… I am awful at sending cards. I still have thank you cards sitting on my dining room table from Toby’s birthday in September. As a panic every year I take a photograph and send everyone e-cards. This is what we subjected Toby to last year for it!
So that’s just a part of our green Christmas. I’m off to ruin it all by ordering way more food than a family of three could ever contemplate eating. 😉
We always try to go for the brown paper christmas wrapping as well (or old newspapers depending on the recipient). And all my fairy lights are now LEDs.
I’ve done newspapers a few times as well. I like to find an article the person the present is for would find interesting. That way if they don’t like the present they always have something interesting to read. 😉
And don’t forget potato prints for the brown paper. Cut out one leaf shape, use a red marker for berries, and you have almost instant holly paper.
I used to be very creative with wrapping paper. I particularly liked getting different colours of newspaper (the pink FT, yellow advertising pages etc). During Bernard’s toddler years we made a lot of our own decorations, and we have a tradition of making our own cards, but I would say that this is the first year that he’s really actually helped with the process. We are doing the paint-sample christmas tree thing.