A couple of years ago we decided to ditch Christmas presents. This deal came about between the adults in my family. It wasn’t a huge announcement, but over the years we couldn’t think of anything we really needed. Our house is full of stuff, and we are in the process of simplifying our life to travel more. Also, now that I am old I can afford to buy myself the things I want throughout the year. So instead of presents, we decided to do some nice things for each other. Mum and I chose to subscribe to the theatre, I buy a World Vision Gift or make a donation for my Dad, and my sister and I will do something together in the new year, (our time together is rare!)
Being childfree makes Christmas a little easier for The Ginger Hunk and I. We do buy some things for the little people in our lives, but try to keep this simple. The amount children get these days for Christmas and birthdays absolutely astounds me. Criticise if you like, as I do not have children, (and I do admit that I spoil my cat.) But being an ‘outsider’ I think we can make sound observations from what we see around us. What I see is a lot of people struggling to afford to live in a city such as Sydney, yet we continue to buy up big, and I don’t know why.
Is it about keeping up?
Or do we think it makes us and our kids happy?
Christmas is no as a time for us all to over do it, and I think that we have all gone a little cray cray.
The statistics agree with me as well.
Last year Christmas retail in Australia hit 45 billion with those over the age of 14 spending around $2,500 in the 12 weeks up to Christmas.
This has other impacts, most notably on the environment. One of the biggest sources of Christmas waste is …. you guessed it…
In America, it is estimated that 50 million Christmas trees are purchased each year, and 30 million of these end up in landfill.
(Very. Sad. Facts.)
I’m not saying we should all give up Christmas, it is the best time of year!
But we can go crazy, spend a fortune ans get caught up in the hype, without even thinking about it. For just one day.
Here are some simple ways to make your Christmas more ethical.
- Consider buying a World Vision Gift and make an investment which will make a difference to someone else. Gifts start as little as $5 to help a child learn to write by purchasing a packet of pencils to investing in a bicycle to help a girl get to school safely for around $100. This is a great initiative and a way to show your children how much difference a small amount of money can make to someone else.
- Limit the paper use. Send an e-card instead of a paper one. Companies like hallmark are even in on the trend.
- Donate your unwanted presents instead of hitting the shops for a refund. Consider donating to people in need through an organisation such as The Smith Family or The Wayside Chapel.
- Consider an alternative tree. Or at least make sure your one is ethically farmed if you’re keeping it real. You can check this list here. Better still, decorate a branch or buy a tree that you can plant in the garden forever.
Have you done anything to make your Christmas more ethical?
Any more tips to share?