"Do your little bit of good where you are. It's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world" - Desmond Tutu
Christmas is one of the largest religious and cultural holidays celebrated by billions all over the globe. We all know that it is right around the corner, it is hard to miss when the shops are glistening with tinsel and when there has been a sudden overflow of chocolate at the front of every supermarket.
But why is it that it has become a time of such over consumption and waste? With Australians alone spending about 10 billion on Christmas, we need to rethink our habits over the holiday period.
There are so many ways that we can show someone we love them without contributing to this consumer mayhem. Together we can look after our planet and in the process explore the thoughtful, inspiring, and gorgeously creative.
Here are a few ways to avoid the mass-shops this Christmas:
We have all been given a gift that forces an awkward smile, sometimes distant relatives just cannot get it right. But why should we let the unwanted gift rot away at the bottom of the wardrobe? It simply comes back to the saying "One person's trash is another's treasure".
Re-wrap the old gift and make it beautiful again. At Junkies we love the simple look of recycled brown paper wrapped with a piece of material, cord, or some fresh herbs.
If you are feeling more creative this year, you could always make your own Seed Embedded Plantable Paper!
Christmas is a time of giving and a time to be thankful for what we have. Get together with your family and instead of giving gifts, do something to help someone else. Whether you donate money to a charity that means a lot to you, bake food for people in your community who are suffering from homelessness, or invite someone over for dinner who might be spending Christmas alone. There are always people out there who need help, we just have to open our eyes and then open our arms.
Op Shop Finds
Would you believe that we found this vase at a second hand store? This is our most recent op shop find and we just had to share it with you.
Filled with flowers from the garden this makes for a thoughtful and sustainable gift. With treasures like this, why would you need to buy new? There are so many beautiful pre-loved items that are in desperate need for a home.
If you really want to buy a special gift for someone make sure you are giving back to your community by supporting local businesses. Whether it is your local op shop, the weekend market, a boutique clothing store, your favourite gift shop, or the corner barber. There are so many beautiful shops that are independently owned and by supporting them you are helping your own community thrive.
Another thoughtful present is a voucher to your favourite restaurant, local cinema, or any summer festivities that might be coming up.
Making a gift with your own hands is truly something that money cannot buy. Bake a batch of cookies, get festive with Christmas puddings, or try out your craft skills with handmade Christmas decorations. Check out Junkies Issue 7 for beautiful recycled decoration ideas and a number of handmade garden gift ideas from The Micro Gardener.
There are so many wonderful artists, hidden treasures, local communities to support, and sustainable ways to celebrate this time of year. As we all get together with friends and family we must remember that although we may be small, we are mighty. Never forget that small changes can make a huge impact.
How have you made someone smile this Christmas? Send us a message, we would love to share your thoughts and ideas with the rest of the Junkie Community.
Words by Sophea Jennings