This year think about reducing your footprint and making Christmas a little greener. Here are a few suggestions from fellow Naturopaths for you this year.
- Brown Paper Packages – most gift wrapping can’t be recycled so this year use brown paper and some fun stamps or fir sprigs to create an attractive Xmas wrapping. Brown paper is also highly cost effective at $10 for 30m at Officeworx.
- Kris Kringle – avoid buying lots of gifts which may end up in landfill and consider doing a Kris Kringle where everyone draws a name and buys one gift for the person on the list. The best thing about a Kris Kringle is that it saves hours of driving around looking for gifts as well.
- Gift of expertise – is there something you make or bake really well? Consider making some delicious chutney, jam or fermented vegetables in bulk and giving them at Christmas. Berries are in abundance at this time of year so its perfect for making jam. My husband’s Scottish grandmother made the most amazing shortbread and every year she would bulk buy butter when it was on sale to prepare her shortbread at Christmas. It’s still the best shortbread I can remember eating.
- Buy a real tree it has already sequestered some carbon. It is recyclable and in some countries now they run pickup programs to turn them into mulch for parks. Better still support your local Scouts group who often organise a Christmas tree sale as a way of fundraising for their activities. Check out scouts.com.au for details.
- Go Local First – cut down on the driving and support local businesses. Its also easier to drive to your local shops and pick up all your Christmas food at one time. Have a look at the @golocalfirst campaign on Instagram and Facebook for inspiration as to local or Australian owned businesses you can support this year. Great gift options could include Australian bush flower themed gifts from local supplier Bell Art or vouchers from local businesses that have had lockdowns like your local massage practitioner or beautician.
- Share the load – if friends or family are running an event offer to bring something like a dip and vegetable platter to help with the catering. That way you have a healthy option to eat and you take a load off your host or hostess. If you are the host for Christmas day ask family members to bring along part of the meal. Its a lot easier if everyone contributes and it reduces the stress on the host considerably.
- Presence is presents – catch up with friends for a cuppa at a local cafe and spend time with them. Maybe put the phone on silent for an hour too unless you need it for pictures of the kids or to Instagram the meal.
- Regiftmas – if you do end up with a number of presents that aren’t really you consider organising regiftmas. Everyone brings a gift they won’t use and puts it in the middle. Each person takes it in turn to “steal” a gift someone else has received or unwrap another present themselves. Alternatively look at giving them to a local charity. Women’s refuges are often happy to receive new toiletries and local charities often appreciate clean unworn clothing.
Christine is a Naturopath based at Elemental Health St Ives and available for appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday if you need help managing Christmas stress on 02 8084 0081 .