I can’t even believe I’m going to type this, but it has crept up on me and it’s now November. Those of you who know me, know I’m a girl much previous…I’m early (ok, so less so if I have a grumpy, tired teen to deliver), like to meet my deadlines at least 2 weeks before the deadline, I do (cough, ahem) sometimes read the end pages of a book before I decide to continue (I know I’m going straight to hell!) and the C word is always sorted by the end of the summer. This year, however, it has both crept up and I think, as we’ve decided as a whole family to go as plastic and crap free (no that’s not the word!!) as we can, proving quite hard.
As a family this year we’ve decided to do our ‘sort of secret’ Santa. Each couple is buying for another couple using what they’d normally spend on individuals as a lump. We’re requesting experiences over ‘things’ but if we need a ‘thing’ then it’s something that is really needed/wanted. I think it’s important to stress here, that you are allowed to just ‘want’ something even when you’re trying to reduce waste, we’re not trying to reduce fun too.
It’s easy for my kids’ main present, I have them sorted (won’t reveal but they’re gonna love it!), however, I always do them a little stocking – it’s tradition right? My mum and my mum in law did it for us until we had our first homes (in fact, my MIL did it for my husband and I until about 10 years ago).
When the kids were little and plastic reduction was ‘less’ on my radar (we did always try to go for wood over plastic) and they played with toys or games, it wasn’t tricky to fill a little stocking. Filling a little stocking for my oldest won’t be tricky either as he now is away at Uni, so he’s going to be really happy with some food items that he doesn’t normally spend his money on and some beer. The younger two, however, are going to be much harder to find plastic free, useful, fun things that I won’t be landfilling within a year. I think my younger son will be easier than my daughter as he is also away at school and is off to Cambodia at the end of the academic year, so he’s going to need kit and will also appreciate goodies to eat. She, on the otherhand, will be hard. I’ve asked her to create a list of things she ‘needs’ or might like that i could try to find plastic free. There’s one thing on it…mascara! It’s going to be a bootee at this rate.
Wrapping I already have sussed, years ago when we lived in the US, I made lots of different sized cloth bags with ribbons, we reuse these year after year. Stockings are reusable and I’ll wrap with either brown paper or cloth there too. My sister has also made the switch over to brown paper this year. We’re still working on mum…although, in her defence, she’s probably still using the paper she made us really carefully remove from our toys on Christmas morning in 1978, so she really has less of a price on her head with her landfill contribution.
So if you have any ideas outside the regular zero waste ideas as I’ve slowly replaced things and given my kids reusable straws, water bottles and cups etc., I’d really welcome them, especially for a very normal 15 year old who likes the very normal 15 year old things and their very normal cheap price tags and shitty quality…if you get my drift 😉
PS: The monkeys have no bearing on this post at all, but I just kind of liked them 😉 You’re welcome!