Pls help me plan a less commercial Christmas next year

(8 Posts)

I am sick of the landfill tat and the pointless exchange of vouchers or money, sick of feeling complicit in a huge advertising-led consumer lie. Kicking myself because I felt the same way this time last year and never got off my arse. Anyone else feel like this? Anyone already done it? What can we do next year instead, what can we tell people, how do I get DH and kids to go along with it?

Already gave up Christmas cards. Banned toy gifts one year when they were all v little. It's a bit tricky to do whole-familyish things as youngest (5) is autistic and v challenging (may be why I am so fed up - sour grapes!)
Any ideas/experiences gratefully received.

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 00:27:31

You could agree to a recycled Christmas, where you regift something you own to someone else who would really like it, or agree only to buy second-hand things. We did that one year- I got a series of books I really wanted and spent the rest of Christmas reading them. Youngest won't realise his/her present is 2nd hand will they? 5 yo don't usually bother about such things.

Also you could go and help out at local homeless shelter for a few hours on Xmas day, or welcome a lonely older person to your house for the day. There are schemes for those.

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 00:29:20

The other thing I'm doing this year is ONLY getting books as presents. The children are not getting any big things.

I'm refusing to buy a turkey- we're going to have duck.

I have Bah-humbug tendencies, can you tell? grin

duchesse Wed 11-Dec-13 00:30:49

Or handmade Christmas- that's lovely. The present is the time and effort it takes to make each present rather than the present itself (although obviously if it's a good present as well, it's win-win). You do have to make sure everyone's on board with that one from early in the year!

Droflove Sat 29-Mar-14 09:10:56

I would let the kids enjoy the variety of gifts like other kids get without worrying too much. But no harm in letting people know if you have too many toys already the it would be best to get them books/clothing items/particular toys they love so that the things they do get are loved, appreciated and used. For food I would try and source local products and be really prepared weeks in advance making all the cranberry sauce, bread sauce, marinades, etc. so that you don't end up buying any store bought crap at the last minute. Same with Turkey, spend some time to find an actual direct seller of free range either turkey, goose or duck, you can enjoy it more knowing it came from a good source. Have a day at the beginning of December making decorations, save all your old cards to cut the pics off and use as name tags. Make homemade gifts for others, hampers containing jams, fudge, chutneys etc. or maybe even contact close family in advance and tell them you are gifting them their cranberry sauce, brandy butter and bread sauce, maybe Christmas pudding to them as their gift on Christmas Eve so that you can bulk make along with your own and they then don't have the hassle of organising it for the day. I think I would love that gift! Save wrapping paper to make decorations next year. Decorate your house using holly from hedges if in the countryside.

curiousuze Tue 20-May-14 12:06:23

I am going to try to have an Amazon-free Christmas and mostly give gifts I have physically chosen, paid for and carried home! Otherwise it's too easy to get carried away.

An idea I read about which I will try when DS is older (so who knows if it's even practical!), is the Want, Need, Wear, Read gift list. Kids choose:

Something they want
Something they need
Something to wear
Something to read

It helps focus kids a bit and stops them getting overwhelmed by being able to ask for anything and everything.

When we were kids our stockings were almost all edibles as well. So we'd have an apple, a tangerine, chocolate coins, some other fun chocolate christmas things (little santas etc), and then a pound coin, and maybe a couple of other bits like socks or pens and pencils.

Also planning this year to use Green Metropolis for books to give as presents, or the Oxfam bookshop in our high street, which also has music. No one in my family would bat an eyelid at being given a second hand book or record as a gift.

EauRouge Tue 20-May-14 14:36:28

I buy a lot of presents for the DDs from charity shops. They love charity shops and view them as some sort of Aladdin's cave of tat so they don't mind second-hand at all. I got lots of books for them last year. Try setting a limit for the number of presents and/or amount of money. DH and I aren't going to bother with presents for each other any more.

Parents, siblings, cousins etc all get homemade presents. Usually chutney made out of whatever garden veg I end up with too much of. Mincemeat is dead easy to make too and makes a great present- and you make it in October so by the time December comes you can sit and be smug about not having to run around the shops like a blue-arsed fly.

layla888 Wed 23-Jul-14 12:48:20

Oh god I feel the same way. Every year my mil gets the boys just pure crap like pound shop toys that last an hour and im not sure they are really that safe. Or massive plastic toys that our small flat can't store. Ever since I married my husband my gidt buying list has got out of control. Were not overly close with his family but the 1st Christmas we were married I only got gifts for his mum step dad and hia brother and mil made it clear that his 3 auntys, uncle, nan, cousin and cousins son were probably expecting gifts as well. The thing is where does it stop? We never see these ppl and I just think it gets too much!

Present ideas
I got a £10 photo shoot from groupon and it came with 3 free prints of the best photo and the digital file so u can print it again and again. So my two boy's did the shoot and we just printed the photo off for a few family members and tkmax have lovely silver plated frames for £10 ish so put them in that and thats a really nice gift for around £13 ish a gift.

This year I am considering charity donations in people's names. I often regift pressies also so that saves a lot of time and money. Also if ur seeing ppl after Christmas day boots reduce all their gifts boxing day that always saves a small fortune. I went to my local garden centre yesterday and they had reduced yankee candles and loads of nice little gift things for under £5 is it worth looking in ur local one?

I want to do a xmas challenge this year like set a budget etc does anyone know if there's any threads started yet?

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