Past meetings‎ > ‎2013‎ > ‎

2013/10 - Celebrating Christmas better

We revisited a number of the themes we looked at when we covered the topic of Celebrating Christmas more ethically last year.

We discussed the Heely City Farm 'rent a Christmas tree' scheme again, but noted you have to get in very early to do this, as they sell out very quickly. We also discussed keeping 'living' Christmas trees alive by making sure they are fed during the rest of the year (can someone remind me what you should feed them with?).

We looked back at the successful 'bring something in good condition that you don't want and so someone else can give it as a gift' event we did last year and decided it would be worth running again at some point in the future (but this year is too soon).

Alternative presents
  • Charity gifts (someone in more need gets the gift) - Oxfam UnwrappedSend a CowGood Gifts and Present Aid
  • Fair trade / ethically produced gifts -  TraidcraftTear Fund or Amnesty Shop
  • Buying second hand from charity shops - can take more time, but can end up with all sorts of unexpected, special gifts that you might not otherwise have thought of
  • Making your own gifts - kneelers from jiffy bags, noticeboards from painting canvas covered with cloth, or get some inspiration online.
  • Buying a magazine subscription
  • Tickets to an event, or a simple promise to take someone out, or babysit for them
  • Giving an IOU for a gift from the January sales, and give the difference to a charity that the recipient supports.
  • Could you respond to a christmas card with an invitation out for a coffee, instead of just reciprocating the card?
CASC-aid is a Christian organisation that encourages people to think more about those in most need at Christmas and less about getting into debt over expensive celebrations.
They encourage people to take stock of what they were planning to spend and then, depending on personal circumstances, aim to either give away half that amount to charity instead OR use half of it to reduce their own debt or save for essential purchases - called '50/50' giving. 

Food shopping:
  • Plan in advance, so you can buy from local, independent shops - such as The Veg Patch in Upperthorpe or a local butchers shop (instead of large supermarkets)
Engaging with other people:
  • Think about who else you could invite to join with you on Christmas day
  • Could you make up a mini-hamper (of cans and non-perishable treats) that could be passed on to someone who may be struggling to afford to celebrate Christmas?
  • Is there someone who would appreciate you taking them to the shops to help with buying food for Christmas?
Recycling and reusing:
  • cut up old Christmas cards to use as gift-tags (and tie them with the hanger ribbons found in the shoulders of women's clothing)
  • Use re-usable wrapping (such as bags)
  • Possible ideas for recycling packaging or unwanted items - My Zero WasteWaste Watch or Recycle This.