Christmas is right around the corner, and most of us enjoy having that beautiful green tree in our homes. But besides bringing in the actual color, how can we make Christmas in our homes greener?
Let’s start with the obvious; Chopping down a tree every year just so you can toss it out or burn it a few weeks later, is probably not the best way to go. It creates garbage or smoke, it’ll cost you money every year, and it’ll probably make a great big mess in your home.
In my opinion, if you want a real tree, you might want to consider planting a tree in your garden, and move it inside in a planter for the holidays. Now I’ve never done this myself, so I don’t know how much of a hassle this will become when the tree and it’s roots start to grow really big. Perhaps you can keep it in the planter so it won’t grow too big, or leave it outside and decorate it in the yard.
Bas and I have a lovely artificial tree. I bought it several years ago and it’ll probably last a lifetime. It doesn’t lose needles, we can store it in the attic when Christmas is over, it’s durable and if you can get one second hand, that would be even better!
As for the decorations, if you’re like me and enjoy decorating the tree differently every year, keep an eye out in your local thriftshop and second hand websites during the holiday season. Many people dig up their Christmas decorations and decide to get rid of some of it, so now is the time to find great second hand decorations.
An other option is to make your own ornaments. I’ve been saving our Christmas cards for a couple of years, and next year I’m planning on cutting out the pictures and making them into ornaments.
When it comes to dinner, try to pick quality over quantity. You know at most Christmas dinners, people stuff themselves to the point of feeling sick, and still there’s leftovers. Try to avoid that. Wouldn’t you rather people eat a bit less, but of much better food?
Nobody is perfect and most people are on a budget, so choices need to be made. Will you get organic meat and vegetables? Are you having a vegetarian or vegan dinner? Will you use cloth napkins and tablecloths? Try to decide what’s most important to you, and what you can afford. There’s no need to create dept over a holiday.
For us, no full organic meals. It’s simply not in our budget to buy everything organic. For Bas however, the meat will be organic, since he recently decided to try and stop eating non-organic meat (Perhaps a guest post is coming up on that). We’re having a nice simple meal together on Christmas-eve. Just some small simple dishes we really enjoy.
I don’t know what my mother in law is making for dinner, but she asked to borrow my vegetarian cookbooks, so that’s a very good sign. At my mothers, we will be raclette dining with a tabletop grill (it’s a Dutch tradition), and I asked my brother to pick up a special vegetarian raclette dish, from “de Vegetarische Slager” . A Dutch company which specializes in high quality meat replacements. I don’t mind paying a bit extra for high quality food.
Lastly, I’d like to refer you to a post I wrote a while ago on Non Consumer Gift Giving. I think it’s important to give from the heart, not from your wallet. When giving someone a present, it shouldn’t feel like a loss. If it does, you should really change your gift giving ways. Try to find a way you can give something meaningful, that makes you feel good.
You could always suggest not exchanging gifts this year, you’ll be surprised how much you can just enjoy being together, without going through the mandatory gift exchange.
And of course; Enjoy each others company. It’s free and very green! And remember to enjoy the season itself. The days are starting to last longer again, and spring will be here before you know it.
We wish you all a very Merry and Green Christmas!