How to plan a slow, stress free and eco-friendly Christmas
Here at Planetwrapit, we've put together some of our best tips on how to enjoy a slow, stress free and eco-friendly Christmas. We recommend starting early, making an eco-friendly christmas plan and shopping small with intent to save you money, time and hassle!
1. Decide how you want YOUR Christmas to be...
Sounds straightforward right?
It may be easy for some but it’s really useful to make a few notes on what would make Christmas great – do you want time to do certain traditions? Is a homemade Christmas pudding important to you? Would you like to spend more time relaxing on Christmas day? Would you like to keep the environment in mind and shop plastic free?
A good way to work out what is important to you can be working out what memories you have from a Christmas you really enjoyed and go from there. Equally, it can be useful to list what you don’t want from Christmas so you can plan to avoid these situations.
It’s worth remembering that not all great Christmases look the same – the tv and social media portrayed image of Christmas doesn’t have to be what you enjoy, thinking ahead can mean that you can create a special memory individual to you and your chosen ones.
2. Make a detailed plan
Planning ahead really makes a world of difference. Write down all the things you’d like to do – maybe it’s a visit to santa with the kids, maybe it’s making homemade crackers, even making a note of when you want to do your food or farm shop order can be a useful prompt.
Once written down you can add to the plan and tick things off as and when – seeing it all laid out might be overwhelming initially but at least you can work out whether it is all achievable and when you can fit it in.
Visiting a local or online zero waste store to get food and essentials (detailing what you will likely need) can help reduce unnecessary food packaging. Most zero waste stores also have a good range of plastic free gifts, shopping small helps communities thrive rather than giving your hard earned cash to already mega-rich shareholders!
Including items such as eco-friendly wrapping paper (like ours!), sustainable christmas cards and other practical essentials can reduce the last minute shopping burden, help to spread the cost and getting sorted early means that you can support small plastic free businesses too.
3. Make a gift list, or a non gift list!
Buying presents can be a struggle especially when people are hard to buy for – having a list and talking to people ahead of time helps to avoid unwanted presents for you and them. If you plan on making homemade gifts such as infused drinks, chutneys and pickles – an early start can really help.
Alternatively, maybe there is no need for physical presents. Could you agree an experience or IOU, a meal out, concert tickets or simply no gift at all can be worthwhile and more enjoyable on all sides, especially if agreed upon in advance!
If you are buying gifts, having a plan and starting early means that you can also support as many small businesses as possible, items which are unique and handmade cannot always be posted the next day so it’s good to think ahead and support those small businesses who like us, do happy dances for every sale!
4. Set a Budget
I think if you were to ask most people what is the worst part of Christmas, most people would say how much it costs! Planning ahead means that you know how much you are willing to spend and can make the budget work for you, allowing you to prioritise what is important to you.
If you are worried about the cost - try to relax and definitely don't spend more than you can afford, rarely people remember Christmases for the gifts they got, instead the memories that made it special. Creating some fun Christmas traditions doesn’t have to cost a lot and will likely be talked about for years to come!
It’s useful to keep your eye out for local free events. Online marketplaces and apps such as vinted often have items which are being sold/given away in perfect and sometimes new condition to keep costs down.
Another way to keep costs down is to make gifts instead of buy them, some homemade fudge, biscuits or a thoughtful handmade gift can be worth so much more to the recipient! You can also invest in things that can be used in future years such as our eco-friendly wooden stamps to make your own gift wrap, cards and tags!
If you are hosting Christmas dinner, knowing how many people are coming round in advance and planning what cutlery, cooking equipment and other bits you might need can avoid those last minute trips to the shops panic buying.
Charity shops and second hand marketplaces may have everything you need for a fraction of the price and hassle, helping to keep you in budget.
5. Learn to relax even when things don’t go to plan
We all know that life often throws swerve balls at us, if you have made a plan and know what is important to you it becomes easier to start early and subsequently be relaxed about things changing nearer to Christmas.
Choose what is important - If a food plan is important to you, start that first, if having a plastic free Christmas is the most important to you then work out how you are going to achieve that as soon as you are able.
Ticking off the parts you find most stressful is a gift in itself!
Overall, it’s worth remembering – it’s just a day! Yes, it's nice to have a lovely time but if you can’t or don’t want to make a fuss – that is absolutely fine too!
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