I heard on the news the other day that there is a new trend amongst parents not to overspend when buying Christmas presents for their children. Instead they are buying four gifts: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.
I hadn’t really considered it before but this is more or less what I always did for my daughters when they were growing up. I didn’t have the money to spend hundreds on each of them, but I wouldn’t even if I had been loaded.
They had a main present -something I knew they had been hankering after – some little gifts like sweets and colouring pens, maybe an item of clothing like pyjamas or a new dress, books and perhaps a coat they needed. I asked my daughter if she felt she missed out and she said she definitely didn’t.
Before I had children I spent Christmas with a couple of quite well off friends with a two year old son. This little boy had so many presents it was obscene. They lined one long wall! He got over excited and was mostly running around throwing wrapping paper about. He couldn’t be bothered to open them all let alone take any time playing with them. He also didn’t open the little gift I had bought him so I have no idea if he liked it. I expect it ended up at the charity shop with half the other stuff!
I swore that I would never do that to my own children. I wanted them to show appreciation and gratitude, and to enjoy their gifts of course.
I am always amazed at people who get so swept up in the Christmas frenzy they buy their kids an x- box rather than paying the rent. So I will be embracing this trend and I hope it spreads!
A Christmas wreath made from old magazines
I was exploring the Essex County Council website today and ended up on the Recycle for Essex site: http://www.recycleforessex.com/christmas, which has some excellent advice on reducing waste and lots of ideas on how to be creative with waste generally rather than dumping it.There are some brilliant Christmas craft ideas. I like these gift bows made from old magazines:
You can also make gift bags from newspapers, a wreath from sweet wrappers or magazines, loads of decorations from CDs plus there are useful links to other wastes for more inspiration.
An old CD becomes Santa
There is a link to the Love a Food Hate Waste website too, which is a great site. There are lots of ideas for using up your Christmas leftovers, from Christmas pudding ice cream to Stilton, ham and Brussels sprout tart! I bet that is nicer than it sounds 😊.
You don’t need to live in Essex to find some inspiration for reducing your waste this Christmas. Check it out!
I have been enjoying a blog called mymakedoandmendlife.com recently. Jen Gale has an interesting perspective on using less and wasting less which I agree with. She has had a lot of attention from the media of late too, with a piece in the dreaded Daily Mail about avoiding the rampant consumerism of Christmas and making it more simple. You can read it here. She and her family spent a whole year buying nothing and making do, and carried on when the year was over. She is a very inspiring person with a refreshing view on life.
What are your tips for reducing, reusing and recycling this Christmas? Are you trying to make it more simple and meaningful?