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Christmas is coming

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I currently find myself in a frantic whirlwind of carol concerts, nativity plays, pantomimes and Christmas jumper day! This time of year can get a little overwhelming for busy Mums, especially when you’re trying to be green but also need convenience.

Thankfully it is getting easier to have a sustainable Christmas. When I first started my ‘green’ journey over sixteen years ago the best thing I could think of to buy my family for Christmas was baby lobsters. Adopted lobsters from the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow. Don’t worry! They didn’t have to rush out and find suitable housing for a lobster. The Lobster Hatchery look after the babies until they are old enough before releasing them into the sea, thus ensuring that the lobster population is kept at a healthy level. You can even track your lobster’s progress online. My family were still slightly bemused by their gifts.

If you are craving a greener Christmas but don’t want to resort to buying your loved ones crustaceans here are some ideas that I’ve picked up over the years;

  1. Give experiences. Treat friends and families to days out, concert tickets, cinema nights, or membership to organisations like the National Trust and English Heritage. These things will be remembered long after the last mince pie has been eaten.
  2. Consumables. Everyone loves food and drink at this time of year. You could make homemade biscuits or chocolates, jams and preserves, infused alcohols (see my plum gin recipe), or cakes and puddings. If you don’t have time you could pick up a nice bottle of wine or some local produce such as local honey.
  3. Gift cards. There are a massive variety of gift cards available; music (like iTunes or Google Play), gardening, beauty treatments, restaurants, the list goes on. These are a great option for people who are awkward to buy for.
  4. Charitable donations. After a few years of doing Secret Santa and realising we were buying each other completely non-essential items myself, my siblings and cousins agreed that instead we should make a donation to charity for the same amount of money that we would have spent on each other. Choose a charity that means something to you and let the recipient know which organisation the funds have been donated to.
  5. Plants. I love giving plants during the festive season (or indeed any season)! Give plants that can survive the cold weather or can live indoors and then planted out later in the year. Herbs are a great option. Alternatively give seeds presented in a nice pot.
  6. Adopt a baby lobster. All joking aside I think that this is a good Christmas gift. It doesn’t have to be a lobster of course; choose a creature that you think the recipient would like. There are lots of organisations that offer adopt an animal packages and you could help support a threatened species.

I’m confident that this list goes on and on. I haven’t even covered giving crafted items like homemade decorations or wonky jumpers (which is as far as my knitting skills go). Do you have any tried and tested gifts? I’d love to hear your ideas. Happy December everyone!

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