Christmas is coming and it is a great opportunity to teach our children that we can enjoy these days without destroying our planet.
Let’s see some ideas for gifts we can make, without stealing them from our planet. Don’t forget that a present represent our thoughts and our personal touch can make it more valuable. We give presents with our hearts not our wallets.
Dedicate your time and energy
Dedicate some of your personal time and energy to go for a walk with the family and the dog, visit a museum, go to the theater or enjoy a special weekend in a lovely place.
Antiques and collectibles
For the members of the family that like to collect objects, a collectible will be the perfect present. And we won’t burden our planet with new objects.
Every child has a collection with small treasures from the nature, an unusual crystal, a rare shell, an odd rock and others. Giving away something of his/her personal treasure is a valuable gift, and with all the most profound meaning of Christmas.
Cooking a dinner for your family and friends with biological ingredients can also be a great gift. But if you haven’t enough time, you can fill small bottles with olive oil and herbs, or marmalade or buy some biologic wines and decorate them, with your children’s help, with colorful ribbons, twigs and flowers.
If you have a garden you can make flowerpots for your friends or if you don’t, you can buy them flowers that can be found locally and not being shipped by air. Offering summer flowers in winter will contribute in enormous consumption of energy.
We usually don’t offer used things as a gift because we are afraid of the way that other people will characterize us. But there is a new way, an ecological way to handle used gifts. The older children can offer their old bicycle, or their old computer, books, clothes (in good condition) or toys to their younger brothers or sisters. Children can decide with their friends to only offer used gifts and not buy new ones.
Try to buy children’s toys without batteries. Not only will you help environment but you “rescue” the other parents from the expense of buying new batteries every once in a while. If you can’t avoid it buy rechargeable batteries.
Usually the wrapper is thrown away, and what a waste! For wrapping gifts, we could use materials that could be used again like fabrics , boxes, purses, old comics, or recycled paper with drawings made by the children. And all these can be tied with a beautiful ribbon or string with leaves and pine cones.
The Black List
Gifts that are made from animals and plants that are threatened species
Items made from fur
Games and clothes that are made at the sweatshops of the fourth world, where forced and children labor occurs.
Practical, useful and long-life gifts
Gifts from ecological organizations that can also be found on the internet.
Gifts made from recycled materials
Games that don’t need batteries
Games that help children discover and enjoy nature
Ask your children to choose some of their games that they don’t use anymore and give them to poor families or organizations.
Christmas Flea Market
Organize a Christmas flea market, with handmade gifts, with your friends and neighbors and donate the money to organizations that protect animals and environment.
And don’t forget that it doesn’t matter how much money you have spend for a Christmas present but how much thought, personal time and love you put in it.