Okay people, don’t panic, but Christmas is less than two.months.away! The shopping mall decorations are up, Bublé carols are jingling through my speakers and there’s talk of drawing names for Kris Kringle – yes, like it or love it, festive season is well and truly upon us.
While this thought might fill you with dread, I couldn’t be more chuffed. I’m a carol-chiming, gift-slingin’, merry mother from way back. What does strike fear into my heart, though, is the overzealous, guilt-addled overconsumption.
We buy far too much at Christmastime. Since having kids, nary a flat, raised surface is bare at the close of Christmas day. No, one person needs so many new items and I promise you, not all of them are even used. I have oodles of unopened toys at the top of my children’s robes that I’m clamouring to regift.
Oh, and the waste! That’s one thing I hate: the waste, waste, waste, WASTE! Metre upon metre of plastic-lined wrapping paper, bringing mere minutes of joyful suspense, is hurriedly scooped into the bin. Poorly made toys break within days. It’s little wonder we feel a teensy bit empty when the gift-giving is a wrap for another year.
I love spoiling my loved ones as much as the next person; seeing the excitement on my kids’ faces as they unveil toys they’ve waited months for, but we put ourselves under so much stress, even financial strain, striving to make one day perfect.
I don’t know about you, but my favourite part has never been the presents. I love a big festive lunch with my family, followed by a communal kip on the sofa to shake off our food comas, before digging into the leftovers.
I remember only one gift I received as a child – a handmade dollhouse, crafted by my handy Pop. I still take joy out of that masterpiece, twenty-eight years later, watching my daughter play with it.
My best memories aren’t of presents but of raucous laughter, listening my grandparents’ old stories. Nanna, just a smidge tipsy off the fruity gordo, joking (for the tenth Christmas in a row) that we’d better enjoy her company, because she wouldn’t be with us the following year. Unrushed and blissful content in each other’s company; feeling as though there just might be enough love in one room to heal the world.
Instead of going overboard on gifts, this year, let’s be kinder to ourselves, our bank accounts and the earth. Choose mindfully. Those plastic toys du jour will be forgotten in a heartbeat, as kids move on to the next fad – why not choose gifts that will guide them outdoors and teach them about their world? My cherubs, ever the artistes, will delight in the Sow and Sow Posy Flower Press and Discovery Corner Sunprints.
And does anyone really need another chemical-laden fragrance gift set to chuck in a drawer and forget about? No. On my gift-list and wish-list are high-quality, low-impact gems that will last and last. If you love the ease of a giftpack, gift your loved ones with a healthier life and a greener planet, by choosing our one of our waste-free and plastic-free Christmas giftsets (The Ultimate Plastic-free Christmas Gift Set, The Mindful Plastic-free Christmas Gift Set or our Garden Lovers Christmas Gift Set).
Little Eco Shop offers a thoughtful assemblage of beautiful, sustainable wares for your every gifting need. With such a diverse collection of goodies, you’re sure to find something to please everyone, even that cranky auntie, who everyone’s scared to get stuck with for K.K. I’ve listed my picks of the season below …
For the ladies
Cheeki Insulated Tumbler in Pistachio, $32.95 – It’s the season for smoothies on the go and this 500ml beauty will keep hers icy cold in style, for hours on end.
Stainless Steel Tea Infuser with Teapot Charm, $12.95 – there’s not a lady alive who wouldn’t adore this sweet little infuser for one. A perfect low-cost K.K. present or gift hamper addition.
Kappi Reusable Safety Razor in Matte Rose Gold, $59.95 – I’m a sucker for anything rose gold. I also love doing my small part to limit the billions of razor heads destined for landfill, each year, and trust me, your favourite lady will too.
MiEco Bamboo Toothbrush Travel Case, $11.00 – Gift the gypsy in your life with this stylish, lightweight case, because no one likes a dirty toothbrush.
For the gents
Solitary Native Bee Home DIY Kit, $30.00 – What guy doesn’t love a DIY? A gorgeous project for dad to take on with the kids. They’ll embark on a nature walk, collecting twigs, gumnuts and other natural treasures and design the home with plenty of nooks and crannies for bugs to nest in.
EverEco Stainless Steel Bento Snack Box, $22.95 – Hungry fellas will appreciate this sleek and sturdy three-compartment bento for snack time on the fly. Generous dimensions to fill a man-sized appetite.
Retro Kitchen Donkey Dish Cloth, $6.95 – This cool, compostable cucumber will put the colour into clean-up time.
Keep Cup, Brew, Cork Edition in Press, $32.00 – Keep his coffee hot and a pep in his step with this stylish 12-ounce cup he’ll use over and over.
For the littles
Eco crayons, $18.00 – a rainbow of 100% plant-based, vegan and compostable crayons for the little creative in your life.
Poss & Wom Nighttime Friends Bamboo Dinnerset, $34.95 – teach your little love about nocturnal Aussie natives with this beautiful, Australian-designed set, including sectional plate, bowl, cup, fork and spoon.
Emondo Kids Waldo the Wombat Bamboo Plate, $39.00 – this may just be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. A truly special piece, your little treasure will love seeing their wombat buddy stare up at them at mealtimes.
EcoNaps Bamboo Travel Change Mat, $29.95 – mums and bubs alike will adore the gorgeous hand-designed prints on these change mats, from botanicals to brights. Lightweight and totally waterproof, they make change times on the go a dream.
Wrap with care
It’s estimated that 150,000 kilometres of wrapping paper is used each festive season – enough to wrap around the globe nearly four times! There are innovative ways to wrap gifts, which can minimise the need for wrapping paper – have the kids design gift wrap on large pieces of recycled paper; source gorgeous pieces of fabric or festive tea towels and tie in place with jute ribbons; buy a picnic hamper or storage basket as a gift and store smaller gifts inside … With a little imagination, there’s no limit to the possibilities.
If you do need to use wrapping paper, opt for fully post-consumer recycled paper like this one from Earth Greetings. Available in five precious prints, this Aussie-designed and Aussie-made gift wrap is able to be recycled, kerbside.
Say it with a click
I love that I can take care of all my gifting from the comfort of home, makeup free and in slippers. I don’t have to worry that someone is going to claw my eyes out for the last singing Elsa doll and I can buy every grownup’s favourite – gift cards – in cardless form.
No one over the age of twelve is going to be disappointed to receive a gift card because there’s no greater feeling than being able to go out and buy whatever the heck you want (and not having a closet cluttered with unwanted presents). Our gift vouchers start at just $25.00 and, because we’re an online store, you won’t need to print them out (saving trees for the win!) - pick yours up here.
I shop early and with AfterPay (because dropping a grand on gifts is much more palatable in four convenient, fortnightly payments of $249.99, am I right?). Little Eco Shop offers AfterPay for all of your gifting needs, but no, we don’t advocate going totally cray on Christmas because, as we greenies know, you can’t consume your way out of overconsumption.
Waste-free Christmas shopping? Tick. Now you can sit back with a plate of cherries and your fruity gordo and stress less.Are you planning for a less wasteful Christmas this year? Be sure to write to us below and clue us in on your best tips for sustainable giving.