As far as I can remember, Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. The magic of the lights, the smells, the memories, the traditions… And for 10 years, I’ve been living in Alsace, where Christmas is a way of life.
Obviously, Mr A has fallen in love with Christmas and it’s his favorite holiday. (That’s why we listen to Christmas Carols in summer).
As you certainly understood with my Halloween post, I really need to add some extra-ordinary in our very ordinary lockdown lives. Christmas is absolutely perfect to dream again.
Being in the middle of Christmas countdown, I’d like to share with you my Christmas list as it is not always easy to make the good choices.
Christmas and its excess
That’s the part of Christmas that is usually criticised. The economic events in our country reminds us how much business is made for this holiday (about a third of the turnover).
Food, gifting, toys, clothes, party accessories… Everything can be sold “special Christmas” as our consumption society is able to sell us anything.
If you like buying second-hand, you must be as surprised as I am to see on line plenty of goods sold “new”, “never used”, “sealed” right after Christmas, since their new owners don’t need them or want them.
From an eco-friendly point of view, this is the part of Christmas that annoys me.
Long live the "stop pub" !
This is our no-waste best-friends. Since we have stuck the “Stop Pub” sticker on our letter box, we don’t receive anymore toy catalogues or promotional leaflets which can create compulsive needs, especially on children.
The spam filter of your mailbox and the regular check of your promotional emails subscriptions can also help you to focus on the brands or supplier you really needs instead of any “amazing web sale”.
A Christmas list all year long
This is a habit we began when Mr A was a toddler and keep doing. When he really wants something in a shop, we write it down on a list I created on my phone. It is usually enough to make him wait. Regularly, he asks to see his list and remove the things he doesn’t want anymore … while adding some new ! When it’s time to write Santa’s letter, he asks me the list and copy what he really wants at the moment. It is usually very faithful to his desire and quite reasonable.
This is a very easy rule to follow :
- 1/3 of things you really need (clothes, useful stuf)
- 1/3 of things you really desire (usually what you’ll put on the list)
- 1/3 of surprises
These latest tier can be dangerous and might add plenty of useless items in your cupboards. To avoid that situation, we have the ultimate rule : prioritize the experience on the materialistic gift.
When you receive all what you really need and all what you really desire, why do you need to own more objects ? A surprise makes you happy when you receive it but usually you don’t know what to do with it afterwards.
Offering an experience or a special moment is the most beautiful gift you can offer to someone since you are offering the opportunity to create new memories, to live a unique moment or to learn a new skill.
You can offer some tickets for a show or a concert, some lessons for a workshop (art, cooking), some tickets for a museum or an exposition or you can contribute to a trip. These are the gifts that impress the most your mind and your hearts. For example, two years ago, my husband surprised me with the ticket to attend a Convention in Wales (which means several days abroad alone without the kids). This is the most beautiful gift I ever received!
This is the secret to make good deals, especially for second hand ! Thanks to the list made all year, I can anticipate the expansive gifts and look for very early the best second hand prices.
Sometimes, you can think it is a bit early, but if your kid loves Lego, Barbie or Playmobil, there is very little risk he/she changes his/her mind for Christmas. So, why would you wait?
And what I love with second-hand is it’s the best way to limit the wastes and overwrapping. It is the most eco friendly way to do your Christmas shopping !
Shop small and local
The economic context and the pandemy reminds us we need to support the artisans and small businesses.
Christmas is so important for them ! Their sales revenue depends on this period and this is often the reward of all a year of efforts. Buying them our Christmas gifts is important for them, our economy, while being eco friendly. Needless to explain the advantage to shop goods made near to your home is more virtuous than buying imported products.
This is also the opportunity for you to offer a gift unique, different from all the standardized presents you can find everywhere.
Christmas markets or Christmas sales won’t take place this year, but there is some other ways ! Masterbox, the small artisans box, the online Fremaa market, the online Marché Super , the Petits Commerces , artispirit, Unik Market or Etsy … so many digital plateform where you can find some unique and original gifts !
« 2020 reminds us what is really important when you stand in front of the Christmas tree is not the number of presents but the loved ones who are with you. ” Catherine Testa
That Catherine Testa‘s quote is so true. For the first time since a very long time, people are not asking “what do we offer for Christmas” but “how and with whom are we celebrating Christmas?
Isn’t it the real Christmas spirit ?