A Christmas With Simple Pleasures

2013 has thrown us all a mixed bag of experiences…

As the 1st of December clicks over, the air is filled with a festive vibe and the shops bulge with things to tickle our senses. This year more than others I find myself reflecting on the year with a renewed appreciation of what Christmas means for me. Perhaps because some people we love have passed and the year has gifted me some perspective on the value of time and people in my life. I am reminded of my parents and grandparents words, “time flies by quicker every year”. This year as we all slow for a few days off to celebrate the festive season I wish you all a wonderful  experience that reaches beyond ‘stuff’, a holiday season filled with quality memories, family and friends.

To help warm the soul the following are some simple sustainable festive season ideas ;

Home décor :

  1. Minimise the use of plastics and enjoy a Christmas tree from nature. This may be in the form of a real tree (you can keep these in a pot for future use), or an abstract style tree using a branch from a tree in your garden (either with leaves or twigs).
  2. Wrap gifts in fabric  – “Furoshiki” – a wrapping method originating in Japanese culture, a reusable, multipurpose way to give a gift and save on waste.
  3. Make present gift tags interesting using recycled items, eg plastic lids cut into shapes & named, decoupage handmade tags from reused papers and cards, tags made from last years recycled Christmas paper
  4. Table décor – native grasses placed in a circular direction into a glass vase with soy or beeswax candles offer a restful, healthy, affordable, festive ambiance.
  5. Choose solar Christmas lights to decorate your home with – you will save dollars while helping to create a warm glow that spreads Christmas cheer and gives a smile to many that drive by.

Gift ideas that minimise landfill and home clutter, and have additional benefits:

  • Gift an  experience such as a massage, dinner, concert/performance
  • Create your own vouchers
  • Plants – drought tolerant potted feature plant, edible garden, terrarium or vertical garden
  • Local produce – preserves, sauces, jams
  • An organic hamper delivery experience – for example, if in Melbourne from Ceres Fair Food
  • charity gift donation in recipients name – eg chickens for a family overseas, sponsor a child
  • If sending Christmas cards, rather than sending a card that will likely end up in landfill send a photo with your note on the back so the recipient can use your message. E-cards are also becoming popular and while they save on ink and paper, when it comes to appreciating life and the people in it, hardcopy photos are a good compromise.
  • Buy online and save on your transport costs & pollution
  • Gift an App – The Healthy Home App is a good one!

Post Christmas revival:

  • Freeze left overs to avoid food wastage
  • Keep any Christmas cards to give to the local school or kindergarten for craft activities
  • Store those solar LED lights and decorations well to avoid breakage and replacement
  • Take the potted Christmas tree to a suitable place in the garden for next year
  • Reuse packaging where possible (maybe the kids wrapping paper won’t make it); you can also keep old Christmas paper to cut up and make next years Christmas gift tags and cards.

We have an exciting year planned ahead, check in with us over the coming months to learn more about great decor finds, living well and healthy homes!

Melissa Wittig

Melissa Wittig is a 'health' focused Interior Designer, Owner of Healthy Interiors, App author of The Healthy Home App, writer, speaker and mum. As a healthy home advocate Melissa consults with organisations and clients in the property, architectural, building & private sectors in relation to design and lifestyle factors that contribute to creating healthy interiors and sustainable living. She writes about aspects of creating a healthy home at www.healthyinteriors.com.au, stop by to download the free healthy home ebook or connect with Healthy Interiors on Facebook or Instagram.

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