At time of year it’s so easy to feel like must spend lots of money, buying gifts for our loved ones and sometimes those we don’t really want to buy for!
Recently, The Money Saving expert, Martin Lewis reiterated again that we shouldn’t simply buy for the sake of it or feel that just because someone buys us a present that we should feel obliged to buy for them. I was at a recent Christmas event where I live, organised by a local church and a parishioner shared her thoughts on gifting out loud. ‘You should only gift if your heart tells you to’ she said. This rings very true for me because I really struggle with buying ‘stuff’ when it’s just going to go to waste. Silly joke gifts and plastic stocking fillers are a particular dislike of mine because they have about 5 seconds of use!
I have two young children and they love ‘stuff’ but since starting my own Eco-friendly shop, The Refilling Station, I feel very uncomfortable with buying them the things they want, only to find it discarded on the floor for the dog to chew! For a few years now we have allowed them to write their letter to Santa but they have to think carefully about their choices. They find this hard! With their stocking I avoid throwaway plastic bits and often reuse small presents from the year before and they don’t seem to notice.
Rather than buying brand new gifts I try to find pre-loved items and look in second hand and charity shops. I often find presents for adults in this way too and it’s a much more personal gift if it’s a one off! You can then feel smug (in a good way!) that you have saved these items from landfill and that they will continue being loved by someone else.
Another personal way of gifting is to make your own presents. When I’ve had time, I’ve created home-made fudge, truffles, chutneys, jams and biscuits for my friends and family. I have some skills with a sewing machine, so I have made soft toys and personalised cushions which are fairly easy when you know how.
At the Refilling Station, we have lots of eco-friendly items for gifts for those who are eco-conscious. Soap these days makes a lovely gift and the memories that can be conjured up with one sniff are immensely satisfying. We also have stocking filler sized gifts such as natural deodorant, toothpastes, toothbrushes etc. too. You could bring in some pretty glass bottles and have them filled with our handwash or body wash and decorate the bottle with recycled ribbon.
I guess what I am trying to say here is that you don’t have feel like you are ruining the magic of Christmas if you are trying to be more eco-friendly. Start small, buy for those your heart tells you to buy for and only buy what you can afford.
Do come along and visit us at 53 Grove Road, Harrogate and if you shop with us in January – just mention Mumbler and receive a 10% discount on your shopping.