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OK, so it's early, but I'm a huge Christmas freak so I feel like I have to start bringing it up around now.
Do you do anything to make your Christmas festivities "green"? In terms of reducing waste, reusing, etc?
This year we are not going to use wrapping paper. Daniel has decided he doesn't like presents to be wrapped up anymore. And we figured, why bother altogether. Wrapping paper is pretty much a waste. The kids have huge gift bags that we've had for several years and used them alternately for Daniel. We will just put their toys from Santa direct in their gift bags. And use gift bags or scarves to wrap presents for each other.
We also have Christmas food shopping down to a fine art these days after many years of buying in far, far too much! Generally we just need the stuff for Christmas dinner and maybe one tin of nice biscuits, one of nice chocolates, and a bottle each of something we don't normally have in (Shaun usually has Bailey's, my mum and me both like brandy and Babycham, and I will usually get in a bottle of cream sherry). That does us.
We re-use the tins from biscuits and chocolates for storing baking and toys, and throw away ones we've had for years that may have gone discoloured, sticky, etc. We also re-gift sometimes (carefully ) and any unwanted gifts either get car booted or given to charity shops. We've had the same decorations for a number of years now (I treated us to some really nice ones when I was working full-time several years ago because the old cheaper ones had become dog-eared) so we don't re-buy those every year.
The Christmas tree is a bit of a sticking point. I LOVE a real Christmas tree because of the smell reminding me of my childhood. Also, being Pagan, I don't know, there's something about having the live thing in the house over Yuletide. We are careful where we buy it from that it's somewhere that states another one has been planted to replace it. And we compromise on the other greenery - we have plastic foliage garlands, wreaths, holly, mistletoe etc.
I love Christmas too lol. My goal for Christmas is for us to be conscious all around...I do want my daughter thinking Christmas is just about the presents. So we decided to the 4 gifts plus a gift from Santa and a stocking each year. We do the something you need, something to read, something to wear, and something you want rule. I have already gotten her two new night gowns and we have a coupon for a free gymnastics suit at the gym so that will cover one category already. And since I have been playing around with my power tools I am wanting to build her a play kitchen to be her present from Santa. Her stocking will have two dvds (Bambi and Beauty and the Beast, which I have already bought) and maybe a couple other small treats. We haven't decided what the others will be.
I also plan to most of our family gifts handmade this year. Thank goodness we only buy for one child on my side (we have the kids draw names) and our nephew on Dh's side. We haven't decided if we will buy for our parents yet or not.
We use a plastic tree and our ornaments have been used for the last few years and I plan on using them for a long time. I decorated glass balls with old paper and glitter and then we have some nice glitter ornaments from Pottery Barn that I got on clearance one year. I do want to get a better fake tree this year though, the one we had last year was just kind of sad.
I am also wanting to teach my daughter the gift of giving. So all year we are going to be trying to find different organizations to serve so she will really see that it isn't all about her and that there are people a lot worse off. Besides It think giving gives us each something unique that nothing else can, it makes us feel good in a unique way.
As for food, well we are teaming up with a couple friends of ours and their two kids and hosting either Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner at our house this year (the other will be at theirs) we both like to cook and tend to cook big meals, we are also going to invite other single soldiers or friends on the island that can't afford to go *home* for Christmas. We aren't sure how many people we will have yet.
I've decided to stop buying wrapping paper! I'm gonna save what I already have for events and such and use paper sacks (from DH grocery shopping) that we already have for the kids' presents. DS has a big "santa sack" that we use too. Might invest in more if I see any I like. DH and I don't exchange presents (what's the point?). Baby Girl will be getting DS's old toys under the tree. I've already bought all of DS's presents. I've been picking stuff up off of the local FB sell page and have filled in with clearance items along the way.
Michaela will be getting some toys that Shaun's mum already brought us which are for 6mo+, and a few new things.
I like the need, read, wear, want rule. That is very cool. I've already told Daniel the arrangements for this year but I may start that next year.
Yeah some plastic trees are really sad. The shaped ones tend to be nice. One of my friends had a tall thin one with fibre-optic lights which looked really cool when I visited her one Christmas. I find it's the ones they try to make look like a natural, real tree that just look pathetic.
I love the idea of giving to other people and not just presents for each other within the family. I usually do this when I do my Christmas shopping - there are quite a few buskers and homeless people who beg or sell Big Issue for a living in both Bolton and Manchester, the towns where I tend to go. So I will usually give them some money and/or buy them something hot to eat and drink, and stop for a chat, buy a copy of the Big Issue. How to make that visible to my children? Perhaps I should stop doing it when I go Christmas shopping and make a special trip with Daniel for that specific purpose.
My mother in law sewed up some Christmas-y drawstring sacks and each year our gifts go in there and then we give them back after. Cute under the tree but now garbage. I haven't really given it much thought yet for this year for myself though.
i save and reuse gift bags and tissue paper all year long. i still have bags from my wedding shower in 05 and all my baby shower bags (thats 3 showers!) ive used two rolls of wrapping paper in two years for chistmas, santa's gifts come in a giant stocking.
Last year I used newspaper as wrapping paper. It looked pretty cool! My mom still gets the paper, so I had her just start saving instead of recycling for a couple weeks. I am going to do that again this year.
Love the idea of using last year's cards as gift tags!
The best part of Christmas for me is wrapping presents. I am no where near ready to give that up. I used to go from house to house wrapping everyone's gifts for them, and as an older teen I even wrapped some of my own from my parents to me because my mom hates wrapping. lol.
We are set for ornaments, but we do buy one a year for each person. DH and I share one, and each kiddo will get one with the goal that by the time they move out, they'll have some to start on their own trees with. Dh and I still have all of our old holiday ornaments too.
Christmas is a source of contention in our house. I don't want to get into it, but I hate hearing ungratefulness in my step son's voice, and we hear it at any holiday that he gets a gift. If I hear it this year, I may not let him open the family gifts and put them away for another year. Dh disagrees, but it just burns me how ungrateful he is (mostly with quantity, and if he gets something he doesn't want.. you'll hear it, and you'll hear exactly what he should have gotten).
We also make sure our gifts include things we need, not just want.
~TTC #1 together 1 year and counting ~
Battling Estrogen Dominance, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Recurrent Miscarriage one day at a time
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