The countdown to Christmas is well and truly underway but don’t worry - we’ve got everything you need to ensure that your ethical and sustainable Christmas is a breeze!
We love this time of year when our shops start to bustle with holiday excitement and cheery good will (corny yes – but so true!) We all want Christmas to be about spending time with whanau and sharing good organic food but so often we get caught up with the stress of it all.
The first step to a carefree Christmas really is good planning. Start now and set yourself the goal of having all your gifts, if not bought, then definitely identified by 30 November. This frees you up for a more thoughtful December where you can decorate your home, make Christmas themed crafts with your kids (or friends) and think and act charitably with a lot of the stress of Christmas shopping behind you.
Gifts - making a meaningful gesture
It can be a challenging time to think sustainably but, if you’re of a Commonsense mindset, an unsustainable Christmas can be just as stressful as last minute Christmas shopping. At our office Christmas party we have Secret Santa rules that gifts can cost no more than $10 and have to be either handmade, compostable, or second-hand – the extra challenge suits our values and it can be great fun to see what turns up!
Write a list and consider:
- How many people are you buying for?
- Can you get the same thing for groups of individuals – e.g. all the kids are getting books this year!
- Are you buying for families or individuals? A hamper is a lovely way of buying for a whole family in one hit!
- Can you buy everything in one place or quickly online? Or do you need to put a day aside to go searching?
- Is someone on your list impossible to buy for? Usually chocolate is fail safe! Or get them a voucher so they can treat themselves to exactly what they want. If you’re properly stumped a donation to charity in the name of the person you are buying for is always a great call.
At Commonsense we have a wide selection of ethical and sustainable gifts so you can be sure you will be able to find something for everyone.
Christmas Food – keeping it simple
November is not too early to start planning the food for your Christmas feast either.
You can put in your orders for ham, salmon, chicken and other Christmas food which will be ready for you to collect a few days before the big day. All our stores have these order forms at the counter and if you can’t find them – just ask one of our friendly staff.
Use November to plan your menu. Consider:
- How many people are you hosting?
- Are you fully catering or can you ask people to 'bring a plate'?
- Does anyone coming have special dietary needs? Everyone will benefit from as much organic food as possible of course!!
- What will you prepare ahead of time?
Christmas mincemeat, cake, cookies and puddings are all best made well before the big day to allow the rich flavours to develop. You can also make and freeze things like stuffing and assembled mince pies to pull out on the day for quick defrosting.
Boxing Day - Wrapping Up and Letting Go
With a little thought Boxing Day can be the blissfully relaxed day it should be. The cooking is done (with hopefully lots of leftovers!) the official party is over, and if you're lucky the sun is shining and the beach is calling. To optimise the day and truly relax you can plan to:
- Stock the fridge and pantry with refreshing, light drinks to rehydrate after a summer's Christmas Day of rich food. Coconut water and a tasty detox tea can be saviours!
- Have plenty of containers at the ready for left-overs and a nice loaf of bread for Boxing Day left-over sandwiches.
- Smooth out wrapping paper and consider whether you can use it again next year – if not remove the tape and recycle.
- Have a box ready for any unwanted gifts still in pristine condition – you can then re-gift, take to the op-shop or sell online (and get something you do want instead!)
So, it’s simple really - with a bit of thought you really can enjoy the silly season and have an ethical and sustainable Christmas making it much more meaningful for you and your family.