One of my mummy friends this week proudly told me how this Christmas, she would be doing only eco-friendly presents and asked my advice for ideas. This is one of my favourite questions and easiest answers. Read our TOP 10 ideas for an Eco-Friendly and Personal Christmas.
Christmas is a great time to establish habits and traditions. Think carefully about how you want your Christmas time to be in your family. Your child will learn from you how to establish a Christmas tradition and will develop expectations based on the Christmas culture you created while they are young. Each year, no matter how old my boys become, they love to set up the Christmas tree with me and hear the stories I have told every year since they were little. They pull out all the handmade angels, the new ones that we made each year when they were younger. I love the look on their faces when they recognise this precious tradition.
1 – Wrapping: There is nothing more delightful than paper that is decorated with your own children’s paint and drawings. Here is a wonderful solution if like most of us; you are running out of places to stash the mountains of drawings and paintings that your child produces. Put those extra drawings to use as birthday wrapping all year round. Your family and friends will be delighted by the personal touch. If you need something more upmarket, brown paper is making a comeback in eco circles and you can still decorate it with your favourite coloured ribbon for eco-chic.
2 – Gifts: We can spend hours trying to pick the “right gift” for a friend or relative but if you think about the time when you got the most heart-warming reaction from a gift, the answer is something personal and homemade every time. Gift buying should be fun, not quick and stressful! Homemade cakes, chocolates or biscuits are always a favourite in our neighbourhood. Wrap them in a tea towel or fabric offcuts for a personal touch, tie with a ribbon and make a hand-made card.
3 – Cards: Homemade cards are getting sophisticated, ambitious and more personal in eco-friendly circles. Think carefully about the person you are giving to; what is their passion? Make it really personal with photos and images of their favourite hobbies.
4 – For the gardener: Put some seeds in the card, wrapped in fabric. Include a one-paragraph story on why you chose these seeds for their garden in particular. Do the same with a pot plant if that words better. A pot of herbs goes down well if they don’t have a garden yet.
5 – For the Cook: Include your favourite recipe and perhaps a gift voucher from your local organic store for the ingredients. Even better, why not purchase all the ingredients and add the recipe to go with it! Perhaps the kids can write the recipe out or decorate the recipe card.
6 – For the musician: Put together some music tracks you think they will love and make a homemade label for the CD. Give it a personal name, like Jannine’s Party favourites, Xmas 2014!
7 – For the wine lover: make your own wine label, include a photo and a Merry Christmas message, this will be appreciated for more than just a bottle of wine.
8 – For the teenager: Money is the most coveted gift with most teenagers, so you have to be creative with how you give this one. The eco-friendly way to satisfy this need that I use is this. Some cash for them, and a voucher for a charity with their name on the certificate. I’ve tired the certificate only, but it does not quite have the same impact as doing both. They are more likely to ‘get’ the lesson if you do both. Especially if you choose a local ‘youth off the streets’ or other youth – related charity.
9 – For the home owner: for the budding home owner or new baby, there is no better gift than their first land to own Go to www.rainforestrescue.org.au to buy some land starting from $25 that counts for the planet.
10 – Charity: There is a selection of amazing charity sites now that allow you to give in a specific way. I gave my brother who lives in Indonesia a charity gift of supporting a local school in his area. One year, my staff gave me the gift of supporting a midwife in a third world country. It was one of the best gifts I could ever get. Personalise the charity for the personality, rather than a general one that matters only to you. Here are some websites to get you started, but be open to exploring the search engines for a specific charity.
The most important eco-friendly thing you can do this Christmas, is to help make Christmas more personal and community-orientated. Choose at least one neighbour and invite them over for a drink or make them some Xmas cookie treats and deliver them. Enjoy the delight on their face and the connection that can be made from this simple action.
Have an eco-friendly Christmas! Visit our site to see a few simple and delightful toy ideas for babies and toddlers here https://staging2.natureschild.com.au/
Love Jannine x x
Wooden Endless Pounder