Christmas and consumerism tend to go hand in hand. However, the endless quest to buy more can mean that the true meaning of Christmas, to spend quality time with our families, gets lost. Not to mention the vast costs involved both personally and to our planet. The good news is there is a simple way to cut down how much you buy during the festive season, and it mostly entails making more yourself, something you can find out all about in the post below.
Supermarkets tend to be packed to the rafters with seasonally themed food around Christmas time. However, most of these foods are chocolates, candies, and cookies, which is funny because these are the easiest items to whip up yourself in your very own kitchen!
In particular, Christmas cookies couldn’t be easier to make, and you also get the additional benefits of that delicious smell wafting through the house as they cook, and the fun of decorating them after they have cooked and cooled.
Indeed, you can keep them looking as festive as possible, by finding a good sugar cookie and royal icing recipes and then using flooding, dotting, and marbling techniques to finish. Alternatively, if you are looking for an easier type of Christmas cookie to make, but one that is just as delicious, then Christmas kisses made with Hershey’s kisses are the best option. You can use milk dark, or candy cane kisses for this recipe, and to add some extra festive touches don’t forget to divide the dough into three and color one-third green and one-third red. Feel free to dip in chocolate when cool too and add red white and green sprinkles for a homemade festive treat that will delight family and guests alike.
There is nothing more frustrating than when you get to the bottom of the pile of gifts you are wrapping, to discover that you have run out of gift wrap. Of course, at this point, most of us would run out and invest in a few more rolls of that shiny paper that have become such a common sight under the Xmas tree.
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/-7RyqlZcV28″ title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>
However, while it looks great wrapping paper isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For one, it can be very expensive, especially as we will only ever get to use it once unless you are like Monica from friends and have your wrapping paper drawer. Then there is the fact that most gift wrap currently in use can rarely be recycled because of the coatings covering it. That means it ends up straight in the trash and then on to the landfill. Finally, store-bought generic gift wrap isn’t very personal at all and rarely adds much to the present it covers.
Fortunately, there is a solution to all these problems and it’s to make your gift wrap from brown paper or brown paper bags. After all, they are cheap, recyclable and you can personalize them with the names or favorite things of the gift recipient. The best way to do this is to use a simple potato combined with red and green poster paint to create Christmas-themed prints. Indeed, this is a Xmas take that the kids will love to get involved in and help you with.
First of all, buying less and making more at Christmas doesn’t mean you can’t buy anything at all or that you have to handcraft every single item that you give. Indeed, there are some savvy ways of buying less that don’t include spending every moment of your free time from the beginning of August crafting Christmas gifts.
The first of these strategies is to limit the number of gifts you buy for each person in your immediate family to four. Many people are already doing this and stick to the rhyme something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read to help keep them on track and ensure their gifts are meaningful and relevant to the person they are buying them for.
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/saDhc9WZibY” title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>
The good news is that even when limited to only four items it’s still entirely possible to find fun gifts that those you give them too will treasure forever. A great example of this is investing in something like this personalized Christmas book for your other half. The reason being that you can include their name and all the reasons you feel for them, so they will want to keep it and keep on reading it for years to come.
Of course, nothing is stopping you from DYing some gifts as well. Although, unless you are proficient in a particular skill like embroidery, carving, or leatherwork, you may wish to stay away from non-food-related gifts. Indeed, food-related gifts are often ideal here because a nice batch of cookies or fudge shows that you have made plenty of effort, but also tends to be fairly simple to get right! Something that in turn can help you maximize your chances of success when DIYing gifts.
Decorating our homes is such a vital part of getting ready for Christmas, and some beautiful items certainly start to appear in stores in the lead-up to the festive season. However, some of the best Christmas decorations are the ones where we create memories while making them as a family.
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/MXyODR8CF64″ title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>
The most simple way of doing this is to make up a big batch of popcorn, and use a needle and thread to string it onto garlands that can be used to decorate the tree. However, if you are looking for something a bit more complex in nature, you will find a wealth of Putz house style templates and decorating ideas online, as well as some wonderful vintage images that can be used to create charming pipe cleaner Christmas theme characters to hand on your tree.
Also, kids will enjoy making ornaments from simple items that you have around the house. Indeed, with a few pegs, some green paints, and a pom-pom or two, you can make some charming decorations that will look great on the tree.
Making instead of buying Christmas cards is the perfect excuse to sit down with the kids and engage in some crafts. Friends and loved ones that receive cards made by your little ones will treasure them!
White paint and cotton balls on black cards make wonderfully snowy scenes, or why not use foiled papers and get the kids to draw out and decorate their very own Christmas trees?
You can take the fun outside as well, and if you have a white pillar on your porch use an old scarf or two and create a giant snowman like the one here to greet all your guests over the festive period.
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/S-CBOvp9rhc” title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>
Of course, you always have the option of taking up sewing and making all your clothes including your family’s party outfits for Christmas day. However, if you would like to start with something a little less high stakes, why not opt for decorating your own ugly Christmas sweater.
The great thing about this activity is that it combines getting crafty with upcycling. To start, all you need is a plan or a Christmas-themed sweater to which you can sew or even hot glue ornaments! Just make sure you’re not wearing it at the time if you choose the latter option.
<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/p7hsbOhuU7A” title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>
Another fun approach is to find some old battery-powered fairy lights and weave these in and out of the fabric. Alternatively, felt cut into Christmas shapes can work well too, especially when opting for a gingerbread house design.