I do love Christmas, but, what I have really come to dislike is the amount of consumption and waste we seem to out-do ourselves on every year.
We seem to forget that yes, while Christmas is about giving, its also about been with family and friends and spending more time, eating good food (as they say in Sweden - Lagom " just enough" ) as a family around the table. It feels like Christmas in Scandinavia is far more civilised than ours at times.
I have never been a fan of lots of decorations generally - "less is more" is my motto, but over the last four or five years I have paired it back even more due to the small size of our home and I really hate clutter.
Last year I went as far as donating what I had to charity and started again with all homemade natural and 100% recyclable decorations.
I decided to go outdoors and get some flowers, berries and rosemary - I cut oranges, apples, limes and dried them out to make decorations which would happily decompose after they were no longer required.
I bought some new LED lights and a small real tree and this was the main event.
I then bought a few FSC wood decorations to add to the tree and around the fireplace, and to be honest the place seemed so much nicer. My inspiration - Scandinavian Christmas and the environment.
The hard part is yet to come, which is wrapping paper. Last year I used old magazines which went down well and bought 100% natural wrapping paper when I could find it and did a really nice job on the decoration of the present with natural paper embellishments and cards. It does take more effort but I thought it was nicer and I certainly felt a lot better about the whole thing.
I was delighted today to discover eco-friendly wrappings in my local petrol station believe it or not, so whilst I haven't been out shopping yet, it might just be getting a whole lot easier
( What to cons𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀.
Plastic: Buy wood decorations or make your own easily. Pinterest is great for idea's of how to make them. Buy a real wreath for your door, or make your own and have some fun. Decorate tables with dried fruits, oranges and limes, natural wax candles and rosemary or other herbs/ foliage , pine cones and cinnamon sticks (think of the glorious smell)
𝗧𝗿𝗲𝗲: Buy a real natural tree and add additional smaller trees / plants around the place with lights only. Decorate it with wood and paper decorations as oppose to plastic.
𝗟𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀: Use warm light LEDS which use 90% less energy and are recyclable when the time comes and are safer.
𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗦𝘁𝗼𝗰𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀: Choose a locally made cotton or linen, or sack fabric stocking - it helps employment and looks more authentic too.
𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗺𝗮𝘀 𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲: Decorate with re-useable natural cotton or linen table cloths or runners, add green foliage and flowers or dried foliage and dried fruit, pine cones, cinnamon sticks interspersed throughout. Add paper name plates if using and forgo the crackers or buy eco-friendly ones.
𝗖𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗹𝗲𝘀: these are great for decoration and generally smell divine. Use good quality natural wax candles which are better for your indoor air quality and health and also the environment - re-use the container! Buy clear glass as it give a better effect. Choose wintery scents such as pinewood, or cranberry and fig, or Orange & Cinnamon.
𝗪𝗿𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗮𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘀: Opt for either making you own from brown paper and then add some really nice touches with paper cards, twine and foliage, or as I think now, we can probably find eco-friendly paper at not too much extra a cost.
(Any paper with glitter or sparkle or can't be scrunched in your hands and stay scrunched cannot be recycled and the same for cards with glitter)
𝗣𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀: this is harder especially with children, but consider buying "experience" presents such as a ticket to a show, concert, vouchers for restaurants, edible foods, drinks, books or anything that has no plastic ideally. Consider buying locally made products or at least from an Irish supplier and consider its carbon footprint if "Made in China"