Following the festive season each year, two unfortunate inevitabilities occur . . .
One: it rapidly and regrettably becomes socially unacceptable to drink warm red wine at 11am.
Two: hundreds of billions of dollars of returned or overstocked merchandise turns into irreversible, nocuous landfill.
Did you know that throughout the holidays, Americans produce approximately one million tonnes of extra waste a week*? Or that Australians throw away roughly 50,000 trees-worth of wrapping paper**?.
More alarming still is the realisation that these figures aren’t in isolation. They occur and, in fact, increase every single year.
So what can we do to stop this far-reaching festive fuck-up?
GIVE LESS, GIVE BETTER
Don’t buy crap for the sake of filling a stocking. No one wants a trick can of nuts, believe me.
Receiving one thoughtful gift, minus the superfluous side distractions, means so much more. Not only will it be truly appreciated by the recipient, your mindfulness will also directly lessen the impact of potential items destined for landfill.
Think of the person you are buying for - what do they like, what will they practically use and what they will enjoy.
A decent bottle of plonk or a good book (like Clare’s shown above) outdoes an ugly Christmas mug every time.
GIVE ETHICALLY, GIVE EXPERIENTIALLY
If you really feel you have to up the ante on your Christmas gift-o-meter, then opt for an ethical gift or unique experience . . .
Donate to a cause close to your gift recipient’s heart. This is the ultimate form of gifting and essentially exactly what the holidays are all about (**Jo sways by candlelight**). Also don’t forget to put the donation in the recipients’ name so they can claim it as a tax deduction!
There are any number of experiential gifts that demonstrate real thoughtfulness, such as a concert ticket, spa voucher, or pre-paid set of yoga classes. Or why not enrol them in that French cooking course they’ve always wanted to do. Help them fulfil le dream.
Buy locally produced products, that are mindfully-made with love, thus supporting local artisans and sustainable trade. Beautiful organic food from farmers markets or lovely hand-made clothes and toys - that kind of jazz.
If you really want to contribute to the reduce, reuse, recycle cause, while also increasing the luxe level, a thoughtful and timeless gift from reputable vintage sites such as Vestiaire Collective is always a good idea.
(Note to husband: it’s spelt v-e-s-t-i-a-i-r-e)