French Mum, humanitarian, restless explorer and doer on sabbatical in Cebu (Philippines): one Attila in each arm, I am exploring the “toddlers safe” corners of the region, while trying to keep some room for Me.
1 week to go! before you drain all your energy and your money in the yearly shopping craziness, pause for a second ..
Do we really need more material stuff to make us happy? Can we do something a bit different this year, that would not only please us but also the planet?
Here are 4 ideas ..Not only to do good, but to also feel good 🙂
1. Be generous with your time, not with your money
What if instead of adding more we would simply do better? This year we made vouchers for our kids. Instead of getting Ms Attila another doll, she has 5 “Good for a Ms Attila kind of day“. Whenever she wants, she’ll cash her ticket for a day where she’ll be the one deciding on what we are all doing. Swimming pool? Cooking? Manipedi? Movie topped with ice cream? The young lady knows the budget for the day, she’ll decide on how we’ll spend it.
Her brother asked for a “Boys kind of day” tickets. We only get to see Mr Attila Sr on week ends as he is working on another island. And our son really misses him. So wish granted, he’ll have full days with his Dad only, starting with a breakfast out, probably treasure hunts and swimming competitions .. All I know is that he’ll for sure sleep super well at night !
I am not supposed to tell yet but Santa will bring my husband a romantic get away with his favorite person in the whole universe (Me!). It does not imply expensive resto or a fancy hotel. He is definitely an outdoor person, so I am preparing a few hour getaway among the best hiking trails of Fontainebleau .. Pique nique and hot chocolate included, obviously!
2. Recycle and create
We have made our family Christmas presents, and they mean a lot. They don’t look like the perfectly shaped ones coming right from the (Chinese) factories. But they are so much meaningful as they are filled with special ingredients …
The cookies are love and smiles made.
The decorations are made of patience, attention and encouragements (yes, you can colour this one all by yourself because you’re a brilliant artist! Yes, you can mix up everything if you like it that way!).
Pinterest is loaded with incredibly cheap yet impressive Arts and DYI craft ideas. We are becoming experts in homemade ornaments with a recipe that does not cost us more than $5 for a 3h session.
Just need cornstach, water, salt and flour .. and a bit of imagination (just let the kids do, inhale fun and exhale OCD ).
Have some old Tshirt calling for recycling? We are preparing a “breath and relax” series of eye pillows for our loved ones.
Just add cheap rice and a few drops of lavender essential oil ..Et voilà!
Did you know that in the UK alone, the amount of wrapping paper binned at Christmas would stretch to the moon?! So we’ll simply use what’s around. Old magazines, drawings, even leaves will make more original packages. And so much more eco friendly. If you are looking for inspiration, just watch those 4 eco wrapping hacks ..
3. Share your talent
I love teaching yoga and I’ve been lucky enough to be trained by a truly inspiring and highly professional teacher.
I know my Mum could definitely use a 90mn Yin class.
So this will be my Christmas present for her this year. A voucher for 5 tailored classes. I have started working on the sequences so they are absolutely made for her. Sur mesure!
And this present will mean more than another perfume or piece of jewelry. Because I am preparing it, researching for it and having her practice in mind all the way. It won’t be a one shot, but a nice rendez vous.
I already told her I don’t want a Christmas present, but wouldn’t mind a few “Home made couscous” coupons. She still has to come up with 4 other recipes she’ll make for us ..Yummy presents are the best, aren’t they?
4. Cherish the memories (and the environment!)
What if instead of asking Santa for a new jacket, you’d hold on to the old one longer? Think of it as an old friend whith whom you ve shared so many great memories …
“The single best thing we can do for the planet is to keep our stuff in use longer. This simple act of extending the life of our garments through proper care and repair reduces the need to buy more over time—thereby avoiding the CO2 emissions, waste output and water usage required to build it” explains Patagonia CEO. So they launched this excellent initiative: Worn Wear. Instead of throwing your clothes because of a broken zipper or another hole, just bring it to their shop. Either they’ll fix it for you, or even better, will also teach you how to fix it by yourself.
It inspired many responsible and cool people to decline this idea in their hometown. Last month, anyone could visit the Do Market in London to get their clothes repaired for free and learn the basics on how to give them a second life.
Instead of rushing Chrismukkha shopping, let’s remember for a moment the real spirits of the Holidays: family, gratitude, faith, love and peace. The best things in life are free 🙂
Do you think you could pick up an idea or 2 for Christmas? I’d love to hear from you!
Happy Holidays to you all 🎄
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