Warm sweaters are out of hibernation to ward off the sudden plummet in temperature. As we creep further into November, that festive feeling is gaining momentum. If you’re in retail, you’ve probably been running the Jingle Bell marathon since earlier in the year while we still donned tee shirts and enjoyed warmer temperatures. The holidays are coming!
Busy, Busy, Busy
For many, this is one of the most hectic times of the year. Between work, gift shopping (or making!), food and party planning we still want to find time to transform our home into a winter wonderland.
When it comes to gifts, however, the UK like many other countries, is excellent at waste. With so much pressure to buy presents for our loved ones, the novelty gift industry rubs it’s hands together like Ebenezer Scrooge as we start to panic. If your loved ones say, “I don’t need anything,” there’s still pressure to buy, buy, buy.
Less is Often More
Don’t panic buy or assume spending money is a display of love. Remember your time is the most valuable commodity you have to offer.
If you’re unsure what to give someone or you’re struggling for money, make food. Who doesn’t love cookies, for instance? You don’t have to be a master chef to bake cookies. Buy a pretty tin from a charity shop for 50p or £2, bake cookies, and voila! A delicious and reusable practical gift. Making and presenting a homemade gift will mean more than buying for the sake of buying.
As for our winter wonderland, turn festive interior decorating into a party with friends and family. Even if you only make a variety of simple paper chains, or rekindle the simple crafts we made at school, the fun you’ll have together will create memories and give meaning to the display in your home. This can be a great way to bring cheer and warmth to an isolated friend or family member, especially if you’re able to invite elderly neighbours as well. For inspiration, goodhousekeeping.com has hundreds of sources on what to make and how to make it.
Keep Calm and Think Out of the Box
Not all families have room for a dining table in their home, so why not try something different the big day? Spread a festive tablecloth on the living room floor, bring in a hamper with cutlery and Christmas crackers, and have an indoor picnic. Take care the suitability for the creaking joints of older guests though!
As for the tree, there are numerous alternative ways to make your festive decoration fabulous. Lights, books, ladders, sticks, string—all can be creatively displayed! They may not be traditional but you can find satisfaction in creating something new that works for you. See Pinterest for inspiration.
The Truth About Waste
According to the London Cleaning System, the UK produces 30 per cent more waste than usual over the festive season, including 6 million Christmas trees that could be used for compost, 2 million turkeys get binned, and 1 in 10 presents end up in landfill.
…give the gift of your time this festive season. Try and reduce waste, seek fun in creating with others and you’re sure to have a wonderful time. Remember, sometimes, less is more and don’t forget the mulled wine and hot chocolate!