Permaculture in Action

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gift Giving At Christmas

Mark and I attended a Transition Town meeting the other week. The topic was '' A sustainable Christmas--  Is it possible?''  Tricia from Little Eco Footprints started the evening off with some ideas and then we all put our heads together to come up with some more. It seems that many people are concerned by the waste, over consumption and lack of meaning around Christmas, so very animated discussions developed.

We started with what we liked about Christmas.......Seasonal pause
                                                                                   Gathering with family and friends
                                                                                   Christmas lights
                                                                                   Good food

Then, what we didn't like..... Waste
                                               Unwanted presents

Followed by some solutions.... Solar powered Christmas lights
                                                  Simple, seasonal, local food , and dish out only as much as can be eaten.
                                                  Cut down on pre Christmas activities and shopping
                                                  Give experiences for gifts (like a Purple Pear gift certificate for a gift of knowledge)
                                                  Home made gifts
                                                  Upcycled gifts
                                                  Ethical gifts
                                                  Gifts from local businesses
                                                  Volunteering for the charity Christmas breakfast

And so much more. One thing I did come away with was a reminder to source gifts from our local LETS group.So I went online and did just that. I looked at all the offerings and items for sale and came across this....

I've wanted an overlocker for a while and now I have one.. a gift to myself! Unfortunately I didn't find anything for anyone else. But I have just finished an order for 10 dishcloths for another LETS member. Maybe a gift voucher for a massage may be suitable.

In the mean time I am busy making some gifts. I hope to spend tomorrow finishing them off, and maybe get the tree decorated.

How are your preparations going?  Are you able to keep them simple?


  1. The overlocker looks like a great one! I like all your simple Christmas ideas. In our family we now only do gifts for the children at Christmas. It has made things so much simpler and calmer. And that way the adults can discuss the gifts and make sure they are really needed and/or wanted. If anyone feels like doing gifts for adults as well, they can give something home-made and consumable e.g. jams, bikkies.

    1. I think that that is a great idea. It was very similar for us when the children were small and I love the idea of giving just a simple home made gift for the adults

  2. Ever since I was given an overlocker I can't imagine how I ever lived without it;)
    I haven't done as well this year with home made gifts. The last few years I have made lots of home made gifts but I ran out of ideas this year. I didn't want to make all the same things again. Have a lovely Christmas Kate:)

    1. Yes I'm looking forward to the ease of owing an overlocker. I also understand about making gifts. It's hard to come up with new ideas each year. So I have a combination this year. And a lovely Christmas to you too.

  3. Hello Kate,

    Looks like a great little present you have found there!! Lucky girl :)

    We are trying to keep things simple at our place too - we are working hard to finish some home made toys for Little G - Daddy is working on a timber barn and I have been knitting away on a farm playmat and animals. I also managed to find a beautiful timber xylophone and set of marracas at an Op shop we visited when on holidays recently - these will also be a gift for Little G. The timing of our new bubby's arrival still has us wondering, but we have an op-shop purchased timber rattle and I am also working on crocheting a little gnome.

    My nieces and nephews have some lovely (near new!) op-shopped clothes as gifts, including a very cool little hat for my 12 year old nephew. I just can't believe some of the treasures we manage to find at op-shops sometimes!

    It is interesting that when people have asked us what we were giving to Little G for Christmas, so many responded that "they don't have the time to make hand-made gifts". We have had so much fun working on handmade gifts - gaining new skills for ourselves in the process. We've shared some quality time together as a couple, helping each other with sanding and patterns. And as for the time factor, I can't even begin to imagine how much time people spend waiting for carparks and braving the crowds at the shopping centres just so they can pick up some piece of ugly plastic that rolled out of a factory.

    I hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas. Looking forward to sharing some special news with you soon too. xx


    1. That all sounds so wonderful Cynthia. I too wonder how much time is spent on shopping that could be better spent on making things at home. I would love to see some photos of your handmade gifts.And the quality time you mention is so worth it just for that. I don't see shopping as a couple so much as quality time myself but working on a project together certainly is. Looking forward to your special news very soon I suspect. Rhonnie is also pregnant did I tell you? Love to you all xx Kate

  4. Love the LETS concept :) And hooray for scoring an overlocker! :)