It’s Christmas Eve. The lights on our tree twinkle between handmade decorations. Underneath is a modest collection of presents, thoughtfully wrapped with handcrafted paper and bows.
Popcorn tumbles down the fronts of the kids’ new PJs as they watch a classic Christmas movie from my childhood.
The smell of popcorn mixes with the delicious aroma of the pavlova and trifle I have prepared for tomorrow – amazingly they are ‘I Quit Sugar’ friendly and I can’t wait to eat them.
I snuggle into Crash Hubby on the sofa with a glass of bubbles as I survey my perfectly clean and tidy domain. Christmas cards from all our family and friends hang above the mantel. Below, the stockings are smaller than last year, waiting for a small treasure or two from Santa.
A pig flies across the room . . .
. . . and hits the wall of reality that is a half built dolls house that will fall apart in a couple of months.
Yep, last Christmas was chaotic, unorganised, impulsive, expensive, overwhelming and marked by Too. Much. Plastic. Crap!
Now back to the first scenario. That’s where I want to be this year. Welcome to my next Crash Test!
Crash Test: A Mindful Christmas
I’m going to try and organise most of our Christmas over the next week. Being mindful about Christmas means a number of things for CrashHubby and I. Starting with:
When I met Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs a couple of months ago, I told him I was going to try and stop and “wave of plastic crap” that makes it’s way into our homes every Christmas. I am always inspired by his principles of living and the following resonates with me the most:
Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful
William Morris, 19th-century writer and craftsman
In addition we will be doing our best to buy authentic, handcrafted gifts or at least buy from ethical, and sustainable companies. Small home-based companies over large multinational ones. Another guideline:
Buy things and materials that respect the human energy that has gone into them and where the maker is rewarded fairly.
Traditions and Meaning
Christmas holds different meaning for different people. This year I want to establish and consolidate some traditions for our family. One of which will be gift giving. Last year the kids must have opened 20 or more gifts from us and our extended family. It really is too much and they weren’t interested in a lot of it, instead just excited about the occasion and all the people. Someone in the Crash Test Community mentioned this great guideline to me and I can’t remember who (please let me know if it was you!).
That’s 4 presents each. We’ll give them one from us and ask our 3 sets of parents if they’d like to take care of the other three. There may also be a family board game and a couple of little surprises from Santa.
I also mean to send out Christmas Cards every year, and every year I fail. So in the spirit of keeping in touch (one of my yearly goals that I never achieve), we will send out a Christmas Card and letter this year!
A Handmade Christmas
We will focus as much as possible on either making things ourselves, including presents or at least buying handcrafted presents. I’ll be looking for great ideas for Christmas decorations to replace all the plastic ones which we will donate. Although, they will be hung on our fake plastic tree because we made a decision a few years ago to save money on trees and we might as well keep using it rather than add it to landfill.
A Frugal Christmas
A mindful Christmas can be a frugal Christmas. For us the handmade, and modesty will help immensely. Buying fewer but better quality gifts that are coveted and needed will certainly feel less wasteful and indulgent.
So there we have it. My mission for this week is to find, organise, buy and make the things that will see us having a mindful Christmas this year.
If you have any handy advice, ideas, posts about homemade crafts and presents, or you’re a small business owner who offers handcrafted, or sustainable Earth-friendly gifts, please let me know in the comments below.
It’s ok to leave one or two links, so please choose your best ones and don’t spam me! Thanks :)
Linking up with Essentially Jess because now I only Blog on Tuesdays ;)
That’s right! My first member-only giveaway is up and running over on our community site Crash Test Mummies.
I’m giving away an iPod Touch to one Australian reader.
You need to be a registered member of the Crash Test Community to enter, so off you go!