Tips To Create A Conscious Christmas While Still Enjoying The Spirit Of The Holiday...
I personally have a love/hate relationship with Christmas. When it starts to creep in on thanksgiving with decor and Christmas music I’m a total scrooge! Catch me the week before and the anticipation of seeing my family washes over And I’m suddenly really into it all! I start rushing around for last minute gifts and wish that I was into baking gorgeous cookies and pies, I become another human. But due to the state of our economy, environment and having a daughter who’s almost two- I find myself really questioning what kinds of traditions I want to pass down to her or create for our little family- the impact will last lifetimes... be wise mama.
I have found that what works for me is making sure I stay conscious in my consumption of food and THINGS. To not lose myself in the social pressure of overindulgence and spending to just end up feeling regret or spending a lot of time getting back on track.
Here's some ways in which we are keeping it conscious!
1. Buy: Local / Eco Friendly / Fair TradeNot only are the gifts more unique, but you’re supporting local business and economy. You’re creating less trash in the landfills and using less gasoline for transport of your items. The more thoughtful & simple gifts often show you’re really thinking of what your friend or family member would really like, enjoy, and use. Don’t buy items that will just collect dust. They don’t impress anyone!
2. Consider the 4 gift rule.Instead of buying as many things as you see put the extra care into 4 special gifts.
"Something they want"
"Something they need"
"Something to wear"
"Something to read"
For your kids start them when they're young- so they don't expect an overindulgent Christmas. Be secure in your gifting and explain that they will one day acquire everything they want and need, but all things take time and there will be other moments throughout the year to earn or receive those things. I grew up with a family paycheck to paycheck and they would always save up for Christmas and overspend. it caused tension in the home and a little guilt upon our small shoulders (even though it was super fun to get all those gifts). I think one or two really special items would have made the same impact and I would have felt less stress from my parents and held onto better financial habits and belief systems myself. having maturity with your spending and really teaching them about experiences and gratitude will go much further than getting them the latest gaming system, a bike, and a playhouse. Pick one. Promise they are wiser than we give them credit for.
3. Having a holiday party?Make finger foods and use less cutlery and plates!
If you really need cutlery and plates, get items are are reusable, recyclable or compostable. And NO STRAWS unless they’re paper- come on people! If you really need straws, (esp for the kids) buy these reusable stainless steel ones.
4. Decor- buy items you will reuse next year!
Stick to a timeless theme that speaks to your family style. Get yourself some storage boxes and tuck them away, just like your parents did! Make your own Christmas tree ornaments, it’s a fun project with the kiddos anyway. And if you do buy new items- make sure they’re ethically sourced. Try to avoid items made in China.
5. Stop buying the shiny stuff
My favorite way to consciously Christmas is to use recycled or recyclable wrapping paper or reusable fabric! You can skip the cards and write right into the paper! So much of the shiny wrapping paper can not be recycled, minimalism is always on trend anyway.
6. Create traditions of gratitude and intention setting.
Instead of asking Santa for presents, write down the things you’re thankful for and start teaching your kids about gratitude and setting intentions. I’m grateful for... and I’m looking forward to learning... setting intentions to learn things or take on new skills and habits is better than quitting xyz. Creating new habits will change the direction of your life. So teach them that young!
Go to the toy box and have them help you pick out some gently used toys and donate them together at a donation center or toy drive. Explain reduce & reuse show them how good it feels to give. Give of your time at a food shelter if your kids are a little older. Perspective is everything, that will keep those teens really humble. A phrase I often say to my little one is, “By sharing this toy you have the ability to make this boy SO HAPPY. See his smile, doesn’t that make you smile too?” It always works! Apply that to donating toys or time!
8. Start every day with some greens.
A lot of times our healthy and balanced way of eating goes out the window over the hoidays. Bouncing from party to party and holiday to holiday creates a hard place to find balance. A simple way to stay fueled and feeling well is to start every day with some GREENS! Before I travel home to my family or go to a big party I plan ahead. I mentally prepare myself. I have learned first hand, that being the healthy high and mighty crusader on my latest detox does nothing but cause tension. I have also learned that completely splurging and having no boundaries doesn't serve me either. So I prepare myself in two ways, mentally and practically. If Im traveling home- I always make a trip to Whole Foods when I arrive. I use Samaya's milk or snacks as an easy excuse. I grab some leafy greens for smoothies and salads and my favorite fresh fruits. If I can't get to the grocery store or we're traveling I start every day with Athletic Greens powder, which has 75 different ingredients (including grasses, sea vegetables, green tea, adaptogens, and more). All that fiber will help regulate your system and keep your metabolism on point. Have fun and eat with your friends and family. Stop the guilting of yourself (and them) and just don't overeat, you will have way more fun.
Hope these tips help you have a very merry holiday and keep it conscious!