Here we are rapidly approaching Christmas 2016 (where did that year go then?) and already ankle deep in preparations. Christmas can become a stressful time – we try to reach some ethereal dream of yuletide perfection (as portrayed in the media/films/imagination) but without abandoning our ethical goals of buying less and buying ethically. So we’ve come up with a few ideas that might just help you balance the tricky seesaw and enable us all to have a wonderful, green Christmas!
What’s The Best Christmas For You and Yours?
Sometimes we work our butts off trying to create the ‘perfect Christmas’ when it isn’t what anyone wants at all! Take some time to really work out what the important stuff is – the food, the company, the presents, the celebration itself – we all have different areas that mean the most to us. For many people the key part is spending time with people they love and for others it’s all about the party! Do you want to spend Christmas Day exhausted and grumpy because you’ve worked hard and it’s just not RIGHT? No, nor do I.
Tinsel and Sparkle
Given the above (you can skip this section if you have already decided that decorations are a waste of time and energy…) what about decorations? Many of us re-use the same decorations each year but if you do need to have perfectly co-ordinating tinsel and baubles then there’s a few ethical options. You can make your own – there are some great tips for making your own on NetMums. If you choose to buy new decorations then why not select Fairtrade ones from places like Traidcraft, Ethical Shop or your local Fairtrade Shop?
Pizzazz for the Party
Looking decorative for the Christmas party can be a top goal too. This doesn’t necessarily mean shopping for a new outfit – open up that wardrobe door and see what you already have that could be shimmied up – perhaps with a sparkly brooch from Madge Hatter or a glittery clutch (try this one on ethical.market or there’s a lovely one on Fashion Conscience. If you do want something new then my first choice is People Tree (though I have just bought a lovely velvet mini from Nomads…..). For the chaps Arthur and Henry have wonderful formal shirts – fairtrade and organic, and we have just launched our casual handwoven shirts in organic cotton in a selection of beautiful colours and lovely prints. The printed ones are great for a party (and they’re unisex ladies…) Each comes with its own creation story too!
The gift of giving
Christmas is about giving, sharing and spreading joy. If we choose our gifts wisely we can do all of these things and even spread that joy more widely than our immediate circle. Home-made gifts are often greatly valued – they show you have spent your time and thought. When buying your gifts you can make a difference just through where you choose to spend your money. Fairtrade will directly benefit far off farmers and producers, buying from charities supports programmes that meet their particular goal, supporting ethically run businesses can help make positive change for workers or the environment and choosing small, local businesses helps someone closer to home to stay afloat. This year I’ve found fantastic gifts from charities like Traidcraft, fellow Fairtrade/ethical businesses such as What Daisy Did and businesses local to me such as Treasured Pens – I won’t tell you what I’ve bought as it might spoil the surprise!
For the ‘classic’ gift choice I fell for some beautiful bamboo socks from Braintree in our local Fairtrade Shop and I have ordered Fairtrade knickers from Fair and Fabulous! If
you are looking for the perfect gift for her, then you won’t go wrong with one of our handwoven, handprinted scarves – one size fits all and each comes with the story of how it was made and you can get to know the people involved. We’ve lots of colours and prints and they’re totally hand made so each has the personal touch!
I hope this has given you a few helpful thoughts and ideas – simply like our Facebook page if you want our daily advent musings and tips. I wish you all a very merry and very green Christmas!