How Green Was My Christmas?


Well, Christmas is over for another year and I hope it was a good one for you and your families.

One of my goals was to reduce our overall environmental impact from the festivities so it is probably time to review what I did and whether it made a difference.

Cards – I only sent 11 Christmas cards by post this year.  This is a significant reduction over the years.  There was a time when I posted between 50 and 60 cards each year.  I sent ecards and emails with our family newsletter.  These are generally well-received, save time and money for me, reduce clutter for the recipient.  I will continue to do this.

Gift-wrapping – this year I made fabric gift bags to use which seems to have been successful in making a significant reduction in the amount of wrapping paper which ended up in the recycling bin.  There was still some from gifts we received but that may change in time, who knows?  Perhaps I will make some for Belle to use next year as well.

Gifts – I made a few hand-made gifts and also a couple of experience gifts and some Oxfam Unwrapped gifts which seemed to please the recipients.  I need to plan my handmade items a bit further in advance next year.  I received a couple of practical and requested gifts so I was very happy.  A bathmat, colander, air mattress, gluten-free sauce and dressing and a Kathmandu voucher as well as a promise of dinner when we are next in Melbourne.  We do not want to be overwhelmed by ‘stuff’ and my family understand that. Yay!!

Food – we made a conscious effort not to over-cater and were mostly successful.  I have fruit cake leftover as well as a little smoked salmon and some cold, grilled chicken.  All of this will be stored appropriately and used to avoid any waste.  We had a special meal with close family but did not over-indulge.  Next year I would like to try to be more organised with my garden and be able to use more home-grown produce.

I am pretty happy with our achievements and will continue to  work on improving each year.

I would love to hear about your celebrations – what worked and what didn’t?

4 thoughts on “How Green Was My Christmas?

  1. Fairy, I am so happy to see you met most of your goals. We too had a pretty green Christmas here. I used my fabric bags for gift wrap, but like you found some gift wrap to deal with from others, I saved some to let the grand kids use for crafts this winter rather than trying to figure out which could be recycled.

    It sounds like you and I are on similar paths in our goals for Christmas. I also want to have more from my garden put up to use for our meals next year.

    As for gifts, I received thoughtful gifts, small hand tools I can use when refinishing furniture and doing crafts. My eldest son, bless his heart, listened when I told him not to buy me any thing and didn’t.

    Glad you had a good Christmas.

  2. Like you I really reduced my cards to post and only posted 15. I sent the newsletter by email and then picked cards for individuals from the jacqui lawson website. I bought a two year membership and find them great to send at xmas and birthdays or just pick me ups. I too give experiences and gave dad a movie ticket to share a day out with him to see Le Mis and movie tickets to the nephew and niece.

    Everyone brought food and there was not excessive amounts left, but we shared it out so noone would have to cook on Boxing Day either. My brother and his partner buy the precooked, delivered meals for dieting so brought a bag of chinese containers for us to reuse.

    Same brother and his partner gave us a wotif voucher which will be used towards a weekend away and I got lots of perfume and bath products so I will be smelling nice all year. My sister gave us a thermal style esky which we can use for winter days out as well as a bag of goodies.

    All in all great pressies which will be used. There is no hope of using garden produce here as with the summer heat we have nothing planted between end of November and start of March at least.

  3. I’m glad you had a good Christmas. I only sent nine cards and the rest by email. Used my fabric home-made bags and squares of fabric a la furoshiki. Received one bag I made last year back which was good!

    As requested I got mostly consumable gifts: wine, nuts, biscuits, hand cream etc and consumable gifts were a lovely stainless steel water bottle, four balls of yarn and a pair of diamante earrings!

    It’s such a good feeling not to have piles of stuff I don’t really want and having to decide what to do with it all… my family is slowly getting the message!

  4. I posted far fewer cards this year too. Mainly cause I sent postcards in Oct/Nov when I was overseas, which I decided got me off the hook for another card in Dec. So I started with people who I wanted to stay in contact with, and once I did the fist 6-7, wrote a new list of about the same number – which I never got around to doing. Oh well. I think I do pretty well with keeping in contact, and it is one of my new year’s resolutions to continue to foster relationships with people outside of Sydney.

    I was lucky to have a ‘leftovers’ Boxing day, so that really helped. Sadly the food I’d usually eat as work lunches (from dinner leftovers) has been languishing (seems I don’t eat as much when I’m off work and I sleep in – and go out a lot). It annoys me to waste food though, so as long as there’s no active growths, I’ll eat it in due course.

    Gift wrapping – well I stuck to my brown paper roll, like all year, and ‘leftover’ ribbons from wedding flowers of years gone by (I was the florist). Brown paper’s not zero waste, but I feel like it’s a start in the right direction.

    Otherwise, I gave gifts, and recieved some, but will pass on any that don’t get enough use. So far, it’s jewellry – one bangle, two sets of earrings, and a necklace, as well as hand cream (which I can’t handle the smell of…), a dutch pancake machine (I’d never buy it, but I have used it twice!), and a cheque. A small haul… oh and a requested calendar which I forgot to bring to work today – tomorrow perhaps!

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