Some of us fix a limit on how much we can spend on each other – forcing us to be more innovative and creative. We’ve never formalised that rule in my family but my favourite Christmas present last year was definitely my brother’s chutney – (imagine a doctor with two small children who makes time to make chutney! – so cool!). Anyway my mate Andrew the Jamaican taxi driver filled me with the joy of buying and stockpiling for Christmas and I realised I hadn’t started anything… I like getting excited about what I’m going to give people, rarely find it a pressure and well if I hide away special organic Christmas food it’s more likely to be me raiding the special box in the middle of the night than my teenagers!
So this Saturday – aside from my People Tree Fair Trade presents, Natalie my 14 year old daughter and I set out in South London to find things that would bring a smile to her grandmother’s face – that’s where we’re all spending Christmas. I find a hip flask, some second hand records and some gorgeous second hand shoes – completely impractical for my Yorkshire Xmas, maybe People Tree Christmas party though!
Here are a few of my Christmas present rules -
Rule 1. Never buy plastic and non-biodegradable. You can only buy plastic if it’s from a charity shop and recycled. (I buy a football hat game – where you chuck a ball at someone’s hat the ball attaches itself with Velcro to the unfortunate persons head!)
Rule 2. If you buy new, buy Fair Trade and organic! I’ve bought friends good organic wine and other foods and consumables – I want to make mince pies – veggie of course. I’ll treat everyone at People Tree’s Christmas sample sale on 10th/11th December – so come along! Homemade rules – so save those jars!
Rule 3. Buying ethical fashion can mean, buying Fair Trade or second hand (or vintage I you have a bit more money to spend). I’ve bought my Mum a gorgeous silk dress that I’ve been imagining she’ll wear on Christmas Day – glamorous and colourful.
Rule 4. Don’t forget the important things – it’s different depending on your age, my teenagers want a drum kit on eBay for £100, my mum wants to see her grandchildren more than anything for Christmas – and all I want is a good long bubble bath (organic bubbles please!) and 2 days off to cook together and drink red wine.
Rule 5. Don’t spend money, only spend time!