By Amy Hymer
Christmas has came around so quickly this year.
It is one of my most favourite times out of the whole year, but I don't feel quite ready for it yet...it just seems to have came around way to fast.
I think a lot of that is to do with the way we are bombarded with Christmas consumerism immediately when the calendar hits November.
I'm all for being organised but it can just make people feel a little overwhelmed, it certainly does for me.
I'm taking a more mindful approach this year. In regards to everything. My time, gift giving, celebrations and traditions.
I refuse to be pulled in and be made to feel that I need to buy more, spend more and do more.
I am trying to be more mindful around the busy Christmas period, a time when things can kinda go out of the window due to time/ money restraints.......For example buying that over packaged, over priced gift set for Auntie Sue, because it looks pretty, we are in a rush and are panicking that if we don't buy it right now we won't have any time to buy it later!
We can't shy away from the damage our consumerism does to our planet. Plastic pollution is everywhere and our waste as a country more than doubles over the festive period.
We have made lots of changes at home and it is an ongoing process to become plastic free, I would like the gifts I give to encourage and reflect this.
Each thing I buy makes a difference and if I can increase demand for plastic free/ zero waste products then that's great.
There are lots of plastic free gifts you can buy to introduce people to a low waste/ plastic free lifestyle.
I'm putting together a little zero waste kitchen/ bathroom starter pack for both our parents. It will include a beeswax food wrap, reusable coffee cups, shampoo bars and some coconut scourers.
I will also be making as many gifts as I can. This year I have spent around £15 on candle making items, and this will make around 10 candles. I will reuse food jars for them also.
Soap making is another great handmade/ low waste gift.
If you don't have time to make gifts then chose to shop small, there is lots of lovely little shop on instagram that make candles, soap, reusable items etc! Also it is amazing that you can make a direct different to a family than shopping with the huge brands.
I have also been making our wrapping paper with the kids. It's a great craft idea. The kids get to go crazy with the paint and the result is beautiful, handmade wrapping paper.....these will look beautiful under the tree and it will feel special to know the kids have made it.
We will also be getting outside, collecting natural treasures and making some decorations for the home, simple pinecones with ribbon etc. There is some really easy ideas for making your own wreaths etc.
I want to create little traditions for us as a family that has nothing to do with presents but still celebrates this magical time of year.
One way I have done this is by making a good things jar. Throughout the year we have a jar in the living room. Next to the jar is some strips of paper and a pencil. Whenever we feel like it we will write something we are grateful for or happy about. Sometimes I need to prompt my husband to put something in the jar, lol, and I sit dow with the kids and do this too.
At the Winter Solstice we open the jar and read the things out. It really is a lovely way to focus on the good and it just sets the tone for the next few day.
The pull to be crazy busy over Christmas, and to buy more and do more will always be there....if I start to feel overwhelmed I'll be making a flask of hot chocolate, and heading to the woods with the kids!