Christmas is less than one month away. I made a promise to myself this year that I wouldn’t go overboard and that I would be planning a very eco-Christmas. Good job I did as with the launch of eco rascals™ and a plethora of markets to show off our new brand of bamboo suction bowls and plates, I’ve had very little time to ‘go overboard!’.
A couple of things that have been filling my newsfeed this festive season that have given me some food for thought are:
- The four-gift rule
- Eco-conscious Christmas ideas from wrapping to plastic free toys for children and alternatives to sending cards.
Let me begin with the Christmas four gift rule. I’m sure many of you have seen this being shared across social media ‘Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read’.
With our third baby on the way in as many years, I can get on board with this. I love the idea that I’ll really have to think about each gift and that the children will spend time with us as a family on Christmas day rather than being overwhelmed with unwrapping and an abundance of new toys.
When I suggested to a few friends that I was going to follow the four-gift rule this Christmas, I got some mixed reviews. One was totally on board and suggested why bother buying the youngest anything as they’d be happy with the wrapping paper and boxes. One asked whether we were worried about money whilst another asked why I wanted to ruin the magic of Christmas for my child so early on…
It’s funny, I distinctly remember the magic of Christmas growing up. I remember the excitement of going to bed. I remember the family traditions such as watching a movie, having hot chocolate and crumpets, taking pictures as we hung our stockings, sitting on Mum and Dad’s bed in the morning with one present each to unwrap, helping prepare breakfast as we excitedly glanced at the present filled Christmas tree, heading out with our family friends for the long walk to the village pub…. the list goes on.
Presence not presents…
What I don’t remember, or cherish, is what it was that I unwrapped. In fact, apart from two gifts (a pair of roller skates and a hamster), I don’t remember any of my Christmas gifts as a kid. My parents never made us go without, far from it, they just made Christmas about so much more than presents.
So, this year when my children are turning three and 18 months, and perhaps the third will either be days old or days away from an imminent arrival, I’m going to practice the four-gift rule but with one slight adjustment, mine will be the five-gift rule. With the fifth gift being something for my children to gift to one another. I’ve not yet decided in which bracket the fifth gift will fall but I was thinking along the lines of something we could all do together. Maybe we could do tickets to a show, an aquarium or a theme park.
So, our five-gift rule will be ‘Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read, something to give like something to do, and none of these things have to be new!’
Stay tuned for our next blog on how we’re going to make Christmas more sustainable and eco-friendly this year. We will have tips on the organic and eco-friendly gifts to give which support local UAE businesses, how to keep your children eating healthy food and how to reduce your impact on the environment with your choice of toys and wrapping paper.