Ahh, Christmas time! The time of year where we deck the townhouse with boughs of LED lights. While singing our favorite Justin Bieber tune Oh Despacito! Tiny tots their eyes are all aglow with… Minecraft. The times have changed for Christmas traditions! We spend way more money! So let’s try to cut your Christmas spending in half!
Canadian’s spend money on things that are the next best thing. The latest and greatest gadget! But this will lead us into a life with more debt not to mention stress.
We do it even though media images show us our waste is piling up. Too much trash, recycling hasn’t worked. Species and ecosystems remain at risk. What can you do to help? Cut your Christmas spending in half!
Our friends invited us over for dinner and we talked for hours about the kids. Oh! how they’re super spoiled during Christmas time! (all year long really!) Kids are in love with toys.
We talked about toy companies and how brilliantly they market their products. They’ve innovated toy models from basic into something with a new novelty. They can shift their shapes, make new noises or light up! Yet, they’re still fundamentally the same.
My friend said she asked her family to give her child previously used toys. She knows that this will help to reduce our carbon footprint.
Marketing Vs Christmas spending
However, her clever thought never materialized. Her family believed it wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t the Christmas spirit! So, what is the Christmas spirit?
The modern-day Christmas spirit has become a marketer’s mandate to increase sales. Consequently, the marketing of the Christmas spirit has generated greater fourth-quarter earnings.
It’s effective and their marketing tactics make it hard to break tradition. The tradition of opening our wallets year after year. But, we shouldn’t let our economic ability to buy new toys be the driving force of Christmas. The loss of income should not be the reason families consider buying less.
Finding ways to make positive memories and traditions should be fun. It will take some planning, but once we get into the moment, it’s a stress-free experience. It’s the simple things that become popular amongst family and friends. Not how much money we spend!
Decorate and bake
Hang the mistletoe! It’s a time-honored tradition that’s been handed down through the ages. It’s romantic and adds some fun to a holiday.
Baking your own cookies, Christmas bars or cakes make the house smell like home. It’s the sweet smells that make the longest lasting memories. How many people grow up and remember the taste of Mom’s cooking? Yes, it’s a memory that will outlast the gifts we receive on this special occasion.
Baking also reduces the amount of packaging we throw away. It also reduces our reliance on Palm Oil commonly found in cookies. Palm Oil is the number one threat to the deforestation, habitat loss and extinction of wild animals. So bake till your heart’s content knowing you’re making a difference!
Family Games like “Find the pickle” is played when a pickle-shaped ornament. It’s hidden somewhere on the Xmas tree, the person who finds it gets an extra present (maybe it’s a chocolate or a Christmas cookie).
Elf on the shelf is a popular children’s game! The elf observes the family throughout the day and reports back to Santa Clause at bedtime. The next morning the little elf turns up in a different location around the house. Kids are on their best behavior and it becomes a game of hide and seek for the entire month of December.
To change up Christmas means that habits have to change by using the imagination. Yes! for some, this is going to be difficult. However, it’s time to challenge current ideas and assumptions.
Christmas is part of the plastic pollution problem. So we need to break down Christmas spending and figure out creative solutions. The gift of a thrilling or humbling experience could be the best way to avoid giving the kids to many gifts.
The experience will give families connections with one another. In addition, making alternate or opposite plans will also greatly reduce stress. It offers us a mental break from the usual traditions!
Set a budget!
Set a small budget for gifts and allow older children to pick a category like something they need, wear or read.
Choose family memberships to theme parks, Museums, Recreation Centers. To cut Chrismas spending consider a DIY gift for family members. There’s a lot of great ideas to be found on Pinterest or Instagram.
Making gifts can start a great tradition that some family members won’t be able to resist. It’s fun and creative and another good way to make lasting memories. By reducing the amount we give offers the best way to alleviate our financial and emotional stress too!
What needs to happen to shift the paradigm of Christmas? When do we stop throwing toys away from Christmas past? We should hand them down to the next generation.
Don’t expect retail chains to change. We have to shift our perspective as a collective. The moral of the story here is BUY LESS.
The timeless tale of the Christmas Carol nails it on the moral head. Christmas should be the time of year where people give to the needy. The time where families share moments in life, NOT things! Let’s get creative instead of hitting the Mall!
Cut your Christmas spending in half! Practicality, imagination and re-evaluating the purpose of Christmas will make a huge difference in our happiness throughout the year.
Starting out your eco-living lifestyle can begin in a place you least expect it! Quite often you find local goods at a Christmas market. Buying local is the best way to reduce the carbon footprint of a product. I list 8 necessities that will get you on your way. Shampoo and conditioner bars are a must-have in every eco-friendly shower. Check out The 8 best must-have gift ideas at the local Christmas market