Christmas is now just around the corner, and for me it’s about spending time with loved ones, snuggling around a fire with a cup of hot cocoa/ mulled wine, cooking together and yet again losing at monopoly. If you have set foot in a shopping center this December then you’ll have noticed that the Christmas we are sold is full of stuff, often single use things made of plastic, harmful for the people who make them and the planet.
So this year, I have approached Christmas inspired by the Skip Garden and Global Generation moto of ‘I, we and the Planet’ by selecting gifts that are meaningful, reusable and plastic free.
For my secret santa gift, I shared my grandmother’s recipe for mulled wine in a nice jar with the dry ingredients to make it (star anise, cinnamon and cloves). For my two nieces, I have bought organic vegetable seeds for their window boxes (based on years of Skip Garden container growing I have selected Paris Market carrot- small container carrots, a couple of dwarf beans with purple and yellow pods, big juicy radishes and fragrant basil). I might add one of our Skip Garden made bird feeders as I think they are amazing, and it’s one of those gifts that keeps on giving as bird watching is a joy in itself.
For my aunts, I have bought a lovely selection of chutney, chilli jams and pickles made in the Skip Garden kitchen by Georgia and her students and for my mum and my girlfriends I made lip balm and body cream using dried herbs from the garden, organic oils and essential oils. My dad and my fiance will get experiences - things we can do together that they wouldn’t have done otherwise.
I think giving your time is the most precious thing you can ever do, and I am a big fan of home written vouchers (‘an afternoon of my time to sort out your garden/ your house plants’ ‘one home made dinner at my house’ ‘an afternoon of charity shop shopping to get you the perfect xxx’ ‘cinema together, pop corn included’). I wrap everything in paper or fabric using cotton string and a couple of sprigs of thyme or rosemary, and I draw my cards and name tags myself
And yes, it takes more time, but knowing that what I gave didn’t cost the planet - if anything, it got people more interested in it- is all worth it!