Whether your family is religious or not, Christmas is a time of joy, reflection, thanks, and remembering the importance of family and spending time together. It doesn’t have to ALL be about reindeer, the man in the red suit, a sack of presents and an elf perched somewhere on a shelf.
Christmas can also be a time of stress that zaps your resources. Celebrating “green” doesn’t mean you’re thankful it didn’t snow, nor does it mean you have to go without. It’s about creating ways to save your pocketbook while being thoughtful and considerate with regard to reducing waste and showing respect to our environment. It’s also a great way to revel in family togetherness. And spending time with family can be truly inspiring when you’ve got something to accomplish together.
Wondering how to get in the swing of Christmas GREEN? You’re bound to come up with your own ideas—and maybe you already have some traditions in place—but here’s a few suggestions to encourage your environmentally-creative senses.
Have you ever heard of upcycling? Take old bike parts, toys, buttons, jigsaw puzzles with missing pieces… whatever broken or jilted materials you have lining your basement or the bottom of bins, and then you re-purpose and reuse to make wonderful, crafty things. Beautiful tree decorations don’t need to cost a lot, the best ones are the ones that are made with tiny fingers and a whole lot of love.
Try using last year’s Christmas cards to make gift tags for this year’s gifts! All you need is a pair of scissors and some imagination. While you’re at it, why not craft up some newspaper garland, sew up some Christmas stockings made from old sweaters—these also make great gifts, glue together some wine-cork bulbs, and construct a fancy advent calendar made from spent toilet paper rolls. (I know it can be done… I’ve seen it.) The possibilities are truly endless!
Now, let’s talk re-gifting for a moment. Don’t shudder or look away. We know re-gifting gets a bad (w)rap—you see what I did there? But it shouldn’t! Check the closets of Christmas and Birthdays past for those items that have never been used or worn and wrap them up in newspapers, flyers, or home-made wrap. Think how much you’re saving, and you’re also reducing waste!
And how about that big, beautiful Christmas tree? Try de-hydrating some orange and apple slices to hang on the tree with paper clips or old twine. String popcorn and cranberries and tie up some satchels of spice or cinnamon sticks with old ribbon. You can also use any foraged materials for a rustic looking and completely natural tree! Not only does it look and smell great, but you’ve reduced your footprint and got the whole family involved. The family who strings popcorn together.. stays together! (Or something like that.)
Let’s get back to a simpler, cleaner kind of living. Who’s with me?