Give Well This Christmas

Do you need more stuff?  I don’t.  Not really.  There are things I want of course but I’m not great at telling people what they are, so every year when I receive gifts that I can’t use or don’t need, I feel terrible about my loved ones wasting money on me.  Plus it’s really hard to get excited about another Boots 3 for 2 gift set, when you’ve already opened 24163 of them 😂

Let’s go back to the good-ol’ days when we had less but it meant more.

The truth, the real truth, is that I’d rather be given time and love.  Rather be taken out for a posh afternoon tea than add another handbag to my collection (I mean if we’re talking Lulu Guinness then I’ll pass on the scones 😂).  I’d prefer a hand-knitted scarf, made with love, over smellies that I can’t use on my annoying skin.  I’d choose a piece of vintage Pyrex over a comedy mug and thoughtful jewellery from a local artist over something mass produced and mainstream.  Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that the best gift they’ve ever received is something their children made themselves or an inexpensive item they saved up to buy.

I’d rather receive less.  I’d rather give less too but think more about each item that I put under the tree.

Year after year people put themselves into debt trying to buy gifts that act as a token, a gesture.  And in January, charity shops and wheely bins are overwhelmed with those same tokens and gestures.

I say we stop!  Make a pact now not to exchange gifts amongst adults, propose a secret Santa or a handmade or pre-loved only rule.  Let’s go back to the good-ol’ days when we had less but it meant more.  We gave and received fewer gifts but they were things that we needed or that would definitely be loved.

It needn’t stop at adults.  Children often feel overwhelmed at Christmas and let’s be honest, they don’t need half of the presents they get!  It’s never too soon to teach about responsible and ethical shopping and about how special it is to receive hand made presents.

Here’s a handy guide to ethical, meaningful, low waste Christmas shopping

Time and memories

Tickets to a show, festival or day out.

Vouchers to spend time together.

A cleaner.

Lessons – cookery, painting, dancing.

Upcycled

Refurbished bicycle

Painted furniture

Reupholstered chairs

Pre-loved

Paintings

Books

Clothes

Vinyl records

Handmade

Jams and chutneys

Liqueurs

Patchwork quilts and blankets

Ethical

Travel mug, cuttlery etc

Trees and shrubs

Fair trade items

Local

Jewellery

Chocolate

Toiletries

Clothing

When you start to think outside the box but within these meaningful parameters, Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be quite so stressful.  Or expensive!

Love Rachel 🌲

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