That time of year again...

I thought I'd take a break from scrubbing every inch of the living room in Day one of the good old end of year "osoji" or "big clean" and muse on something I read today on Recycled Fashion.  It was about buying recycled Christmas presents and it got me thinking about how I feel about Christmas gifts vis a vis eco-friendly and also...minimalism.  (you may also admire the pic of my handmade tree star...)

1) Minimalism - it might seem that Christmas and minimalism are mutually exclusive, but I think that in fact, you can combine the two.

  • have a wishlist - I mentioned this before and although it does sound a bit...calculating, at least if someone asks you "what would you like for Christmas?", you have an idea of things that you actually want or need rather than collecting a whole lot of random stuff again.
  • ask people what they want too - why not?  You may as well give someone what they really like rather than more stuff to fill our homes.
  • go for things that can be used up.  I know it sounds terribly dull, but I give Mr O things like eco shaving cream (bear with me on this one).  He never buys it for himself cos he reckons it's too expensive, but he likes it, it's good for him, and it's good for the environment.  Plus, I swear that man needs another t-shirt like a hole in the head.  Stuff like wine, really yummy food, nice body products - stuff that someone might not buy for themselves as it's too pricey or hard to get or whatever and that can be used up and then...nothing left.
  • go for experiences - for his birthday, I gave Mr O a voucher for dinner at a really nice restaurant that he wanted to go to, and I often give my mum facials or massages or manis.  Thus - the person gets spoilt and there's nothing to have to find a place for at home.
  • one really nice gift - I have recently adopted a policy of actually buying (or at least considering buying!) the one really nice, if maybe a bit pricier, item that I really want rather than deciding it's too expensive and buying a whole lot of little cheap things that perhaps aren't quite right.  I think that would work for gifts too.

  • secondhand gifts - obviously this is a tricky one.  I doubt some members of my circle would appreciate something pre-loved, but there are others who don't mind.  A lot of my friends now have vintage kimono, which are really lovely to swan around in like a movie star around the house.
  • eco products - if you're going to buy new, at least try and get things that are fair trade or handmade or made from recycled items or so on and so forth.  The baby is getting a couple of very nice eco-friendly wooden toys for Chrisso this year and as mentioned, Mr O is getting organic and eco "man-products".
  • either by yourself or someone else (check out Etsy!), handmade gifts rock.  Even if slightly wonky at times, they are much nicer and probably more eco-friendly than something mass-produced in a factory in China.
Just some things to think upon as the Chrissy frenzy heats up.


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