It is Dec 23rd and so I guess most of us will be at least a bit busy with preparing the big day (in Austria we celebrate it on the 24th).
So many people are worried what to give to the people around them. There is these categories too: loved ones, friends, family, kids and people who only receive something because they give something to them. And it seems like as if it is a huge surprise that Christmas is coming up every year. Seriously?
For a few years now it is super easy for me because I use a simple trick to be prepared. I have some little gifting lists in my telephone, where I write down gift ideas for all kinds of people. Whenever someone tells me about a wish, I see them glimpsing on things, or simply if I find a nice things somewhere that could fit, I write it down (because I am not a shop and cannot store all these presents in advance ;-)) Doing this, I found out that often the smallest things make people the happiest, simply because they don’t expect anyone to remember this. Or maybe because it is something they forgot about and makes them smile way more than a quick buy somewhere online. Less is definitely more. You don’t show how much a person means to you with the price of a present. It is rather the idea and the thoughts you invest than the money you have spent.
I also changed the things I give away. More than the half of my presents of this year are sustainable brands, gadgets or things to reduce trash (and also the hassle for yourself) and still make a lot of fun. Because no, nowadays you don’t need to buy only boring stuff just to have a good conscience.
I am far away from 100% sustainable giving, but you know – it’s the small things that make a difference. It is also because I want to invite others to my journey on shopping reflection. Yes, I bought some presents online. Simply because I couldn’t find them in a store near me. But I try to reduce it from year to year (hard enough because it is simply sooo comfortable).
I started to pack little brainfood packs for people I want to give a little thing instead of just buying plastic wrapped chocolate at a supermarket. You can personalize this and so everyone gets something he or she really likes.
I don’t use plastic foil wrapping for years now (which is easy, because I don’t like it anyways) and there won’t be plastic or foil ornaments on my tree (I already found this super ugly as a kid). Ok tree might be the wrong word anyways, because since I go on holidays on 26th I rather take a branch and put it on a wall. I decorate it with balls and lights, so it looks a bit like a tree. It is a part of a tree that would be thrown away and so I won’t kill another tree for just two days in my flat.
Yes, everyone who knows me knows that I am far away from a 100% sustainable life. But you know what? You don’t have to change it all at once, it is more important to include some things that are possible for you. It will become a habit and you can keep pace. This is a rule that also applies on gifting for Christmas. Because Christmas is also about being thankful. And shouldn’t we be also thankful to be so privileged, that we actually can chose how and what to give?