It's the year 2000, and traditions and knowledge are slowly evolving towards something more contemporary.
As the year draws to a close, we've heard so much about climate change and the over-consumption of plastic, among other things.
It's high time to update the way we plan, organize and live the holiday season.
The idea behind all this is certainly not to live a dull, brown and flat Christmas. Quite the contrary!
Between excessive shopping, the stress of spending and time, the creation of false needs and the panoply of irritants that come with "traditions" that are invasive and don't allow us to live in the moment, there are certainly a few strategies to adopt to live a different and more ecological holiday season!
What if we were to take a step backwards, in order to move forward?
Of course, we're not talking about the religious aspects of the holiday season, which are unique to each individual. We're talking about a holiday on a human scale. Where the gift takes up little or no space. Where time and the closeness of loved ones take center stage.
You may want to take advantage of the occasion and continue the tradition of gift-giving. There's nothing wrong with giving, quite the contrary! In this case, the notions of "what" and "how much" become paramount. Especially when it comes to physical gifts.
What can I give that respects my ecological values?
In our opinion, there are two main families of gifts we can offer. There are those that we make ourselves (DIY) and those that we buy locally and ecologically. This may seem restrictive at first glance, but believe us, the choices are endless. We'll give you a few pointers. You can also refer to Pinterest for a nice variety.
We all have hidden talents... and even when they're very hidden, we can make a few things with our hands and go to the trouble of putting a lot of love into them. To give you some ideas, here's a non-exhaustive list to inspire you a little.
- To be of service,
- Concoct a choice meal or a treat to enjoy,
- Refurbish a piece of furniture for its owner,
- Mend an appreciated garment,
- Create an animation, a game or an activity for family or friends,
- Assemble and present a virtual photo album.
Locally, we have extraordinary artisans who offer us a spectacular variety. Some of them also work ecologically. There's also a whole network of second-hand stores. Here, too, is a non-exhaustive list of what you can offer.
- Scour thrift stores and second-life stores for used gifts,
- Trade toys with acquaintances who have children of similar age to yours,
- Offer items that promote a zero-waste approach to daily life: reusable snack bags, dryer balls, fruit and vegetable bags, etc,
- Offer books by Quebec authors,
- Offering ecological and Quebec clothing and accessories,
- Choose quality objects that will last over time and whose end-of-life will have little impact on the environment (e.g. biodegradable, natural fiber...)
If we step outside the tradition of giving a physical gift, there's a whole range of possible gifts that are absolutely brilliant and can help bring the people involved closer together.
- Cottage rental or home exchange,
- Sports equipment rental: snowshoes, skates, tubes...,
- Passes to a variety of centers: trampoline, surfing, Imax, cinema...,
- A sports, arts or cultural course,
- Subscription to a webmagazine or virtual radio channe
You may want something more traditional, like a meal with family and friends. Or you may want to experience something different that puts time spent together and sharing at the center of the table! All the following can be done alone, with family and friends.
- Plan a time in a seniors' center where several of them are alone. Bring a variety of games to play with them,
- Invite one or more people you know from near or far who are lonely,
- Make food together to take to people in need or to a non-profit organization,
- Plan a time to volunteer, for example with Nez Rouge,
- Prepare homemade gifts and take them to your neighborhood,
- Rent a sleigh and take a look at the Christmas decorations. If the sleigh isn't possible, do it on foot,
- Put on your skates and hit one of the nature trails,
- Go tobogganing as a family.
Basically, to do something different and greener with our holiday season, we'll keep the following 3 phrases in mind:
- Quality over quantity,
- Buy less and buy better,
- Do you really need it? Or does it really need it?
With this in mind, and lots and lots of love (it's free and eco-friendly!), you can experience something magical with wonderful values!
If you'd like more eco-friendly inspiration for the holiday season, check out our article White... and Green Christmas!
We wish you a wonderful holiday season, surrounded by your loved ones and as natural as possible!