Don’t let the commercialisation of the season temper your delight. Christmas can be magical – again.
As we move towards Christmas, the darkness of the early nightfall becomes a velvety canvas for the friendly sparkling lights. But there are things that bother me more and more each year.
– having way too little time to really have at least one contemplative moment;
– not knowing what to give to people who seem to have it all, so annoying, right?
– not knowing what to wish for because I seem to have all I need as well (duh!);
– being exposed to the most unhealthy food out there, German Christmas markets, looking at you (sharply);
– and finally – the last straw – to see even more useless, toxic binge shopping that leads nowhere during the rest of the year: it actually has its peak during Christmas. Or rather “Xmas”.
What’s your major source of frustration during Christmas season?
So, are you making plans for Christmas? I am. My plans for Christmas include making shopping, gifting, cooking, and entertaining as conscious and as green as possible while keeping it at the level of expectancy. That is, terrific *smug grin*
My wish for Christmas is to make it this year a better, greener and easier celebration than ever!”
1. I want to have more time… – I don’t want to spend hours hunting unimportant gifts that don’t matter, cooking fat, heavy and unhealthy meals.
To save time, I’m going to choose vegan over vegetarian meals, and delicious raw desserts over baked cookies, pies and cakes (need to be gluten-free anyway). Vegan cooking really saves you a lot of time in the kitchen.
Buying gifts will boil down to a few beauty, fashion or food brands I support (you have read about them here and will in the future) and since I’ve been taking notes on what I gave my friends in the last years as well as what interests them, I’m sure to pick more than pleasant surprises. Some of them are simply looking forward to a dinner and time together.
(Still 1) …and I want to spend less money on stuff that nobody needs/that goes to waste – there are great causes to spend money to, and vain lighting concepts and increased food waste and festive waste aren’t such causes.
Again – vegan food and thoughtful presents will save me a lot of useless spending.
Wrapping causes so much waste every year: you could save a lot of time, money and waste by wrapping wisely and creatively; and I promise an extra post on that! 😉
As for dinner planning, I’m going to stock up with non-perishable organic and locally farmed foods first (rice; gluten-free noodles; grains; beans; nuts; canned, pickled or deep-frozen vegs), and calculate meals in advance using this fantabulous Love Food Hate Waste portion calculator TOTALLY worth checking out -> click!
2. I don’t want to gain weight over the holidays – Christmas markets, still looking at you. Not a single healthy food option, seriously?
Vegan food to the rescue again 🙂
3. I want „Joy to the world“ really be exactly that: joy to the world – I don’t want my choices to mean harm and pain for living beings. Why not plant trees and adopt animal shelter animals rather than cut trees and eat animals?
Vegan, home-cooked food again! 😀 Looks like we have a winner here.
Another thing: sometimes a DIY gift is truly welcome. Particularly if you have specific talents (those don’t include hot-glueing maccaroni on a paper frame if you’re older than five!) – photography, design, foreign language, calligraphy, sewing (really sewing), painting/drawing…
Think of supporting charities whose work truly means something to you, global or local, with money or contributions.
When shopping fashion, check resources like Global Labour Rights, Clean Clothes Campaign, Peta and Greenpeace to get the latest information on what to avoid; these organisations sometimes put toghether check lists or gift ideas for Christmas.
Christmas is absolutely no excuse to support cruelty, child labor or sweatshops, right? Buy local, buy artisanal, and buy less plastic made in “far, far away with no regulations”…
Here are a few addresses for greener gifts:
Present Aid + + + Good Gifts + + + Oxfam + + + Ecocentric + + + WWF + + + Greenpeace Magazin + + + Schöner wär’s wenn’s schöner wär’ + + + Photocircle + + +
Gifts that save animals and the planet:
Woodland Trust UK + + + WWF (“adopt a tiger” – how amazing’s that!?) + + + RSPB UK + + + BUND.net + + + Friends of the Earth + + +
Ethical gift suggestions:
Life’s too short to buy what you’re told + + + Top 10 vegan gifts in 2013 + + + Gifts for a better world + + + Best charity gift ideas