A friend shared an article on Facebook yesterday, it wasn't a recent article, in fact it was published in 2012, but it was a timely one as our thoughts turn to Christmas shopping. The basic premise of the article, is the irreversible damage being done to the planet by our insatiable appetite for buying tat, particularly in the lead up to Christmas. Things that seem like a good idea at the time, but that in fact no one actually needs (or wants), and that after a short life span, end up in landfill. Examples cited include, an individual beer can chiller, a belly button brush and an inflatable zimmer frame. The article, The Gift of Death, by George Monbiot talks about the normalisation of pathological consumption, an issue which can surely only have become magnified since 2012.
I couldn't understand it in years gone by when I asked my parents what they'd like for Christmas
and they always said nothing "You must want something" I'd respond and my mother would always laugh and I can still hear her saying now "but darling we don't need anything!" Finally at a push, they'd come up with their favourite chocolate or a nice bottle of whiskey. Now I get it. Totally! They were ahead of their time. In fact I'm lucky to be able to say that my parents were the least needy people I've ever met!
Now I'm not for a minute suggesting that there'll be an empty space under our Christmas tree, nothing to be unwrapped on Christmas morning; before you all make a mental note to politely decline any future invitations for that time of year! In fact I know for certain that my daughter has got her eye on some new things for her bedroom and who doesn't like to start the New Year with a couple of new books? But maybe we could all be a little bit more creative and environmentally conscious in our buying and giving? I'm thinking both from a decluttering perspective and the future of our planet. With this in mind, I've come up with a list of alternative Christmas gift ideas. Where possible, I've given a local to Maidenhead idea and also a national (UK) alternative, unless the idea is applicable for both.
A box of cookies from The Funky Cookie Company
A Voucher for The Hand Foot & Beauty Studio, Maidenhead
Voucher for a Life Coaching session
Voucher for Priya's Kitchen, Maidenhead
A Beebomb (or two or three)
Voucher for Less Is More - decluttering & organising service, Maidenhead
A cinema voucher or Netflix Membership
A voucher for a Personal Styling session
Donation to a favourite charity (feel free to adopt me a donkey anyone)
Seeds or bulbs from Sarah Raven
Tickets for an event at Norden Farm, Maidenhead, or a theatre local to you
Voucher for learning a new sport
Magazine subscription - yes it may be clutter for a while but it won't be permanent, eventually they'll reach the recycling bin
Tickets to Windsor Racecourse, or another sporting event
Happy (decluttered) Christmas shopping!