This year Christmas feels a little bit different for me. Anyone regularly reading the blog will know since January I have moved towards adopting a zero waste lifestyle and becoming a bit more minimalist. I have found this to be a fantastic experience and have genuinely enjoyed clearing my home of clutter and waste. I am no angel, but I am getting there. So now that the most wasteful time of the year is upon us, like I say I feel a little bit different about it all this year. Reading this, you may be thinking I am about to go down some don’t buy presents, I hate Christmas rabbit hole. But, it is quite the opposite. For the first time in a long time I am genuinely excited about Christmas. Now I will straight off caveat that by saying I am ALWAYS excited about Christmas. Every single little thing about it. One of my absolute favourite parts being giving presents to friends and family. I like to think I have always given thoughtful gifts and have always made a food hamper for my parents, but now I am *really* thinking about not buying for the sake of buying or buying instead of making. It is making me wonder if I was ever as good as I thought!
To be in line with my new ethics I am having to think long and hard about what people would actually want and use. And you know what, I am loving the process. It feels so much more in the Christmas spirit to really consider the people I am buying or making for rather than just buying them a gift they may like. Swapping the “gifts for men who have everything” websites full of utter uninspiring rubbish to being on those full of beautiful items and looking at recipes with Christmassy pictures. What a difference it makes to how Christmassy and good I feel about it all!
With this, a list of rules which seem natural have formed. I use the term rules loosely, but thought they may be helpful to share with you all! If you want to do the same I will also have a series of 5 different Christmas gift guides coming next week with specific gifts. The focus of these will be on all of the below, practical, local, independent or homemade. But first I wanted to outline what my thoughts are:
All presents which I actually buy this year will be practical. Now by practical I really mean it will actually be used, so some may not exactly be practical by any stretch of the imagination, like the archery set I am buying my nephews, whom I very much hope don’t read my blog haha (8 year olds don’t read blogs do they…..)!! But the point is, I am only going to buy something which I know for absolute certain the person I am buying for will use, wear, eat……
One of the top priorities for me is to buy local this year. I have lots of fantastic shops around me yet give my money to Amazon and their corporate bank account and hideously over the top packaging every year. This year the plan is to buy from shops which will mean I do not need to create any waste in the delivery and I am supporting a person and their small business. I am actually pretty excited to get out to all the local gift shops I have never set foot in! It is also a no brainer that being in shops full of beautiful gifts will up the Christmassy feeling too!
Where I physically cant get the perfect present for some one in an independent shop in Edinburgh, I will be buying from independent online stores, which really means Etsy. I would much rather my money goes to someone who is making products with love. It also tends to mean there will be less plastic packaging where it is skincare and make up, this is not a given, but I tend to find small businesses use glass bottles for products over the plastic tubes big companies use.
Homemade presents in this house are all about the food. I make a selection of both savoury and sweet presents every year for my parents, but this year I will extend this to other family members and friends too. There is definitely an option here to make homemade skincare but I tired it when I started the blog and while it was good enough for me, I am not sure it is good enough to give as a gift. But if you are better at this than me, why not make up beauty hampers for your mum, sister, best friend?