Thursday, December 4, 2008

A thrifty Green Christmas

Sometimes it seems around here that all I have been talking about lately is Christmas. That is really not all that is going on around here in real life but I do find it interesting to write about. Obviously it is a popular and largely celebrated holiday and it brings out many emotions in people. Some are very excited about it. (My kids definitely fall in that category!) Some are worried, some are stressed. I myself find it a fun time for making memories and having good times together as a family. We have happily chosen to celebrate in our own way and do not feel driven by being normal.

At Green Baby Guide she wrote about the debate over Christmas trees and what is environmentally friendly. She asked what everyone else did concerning trees and I thought it would be fun to look at many of our traditions and check out how green and/or thrifty they are.

  • Concerning a tree. We don't have one. The real reason for that (for us) is not to be green or thrifty but it is both never the less. Obviously that is not what most people want so you get to debate over real or fake, but for us it works.

  • Decorating. I really enjoy decorating (whether it be for Christmas, fall, company coming, moving into a new house...) so I have fun! Decorating is not hard to keep thrifty and green if you are willing to be creative. Think about what you have and work from there. At this time of year I enjoy going out in the woods and walking around and I look for pine bows that have fallen (They add such a nice scent to the house!), pine cones or other fun looking branches that I can use to decorate with. I also enjoy pulling out lots of candles including the ones we made from old candles and crayons. Tin can luminaries can be made quite easily and can add a festive touch (and a pretty safe place to put your candles. Look for things around your house that are red, green, silver or gold and put a grouping together. Have fun and be creative! New stuff that costs money and comes in lots of packaging isn't really what is needed.
  • Gifts. Homemade presents usually work well for being both thrifty and green. It is especially nice when you can make something from "Trash" such as rag rugs, many kids toys, quilts, the list can go on and on. I have been having a series on A Homemade Christmas every Monday where I share various ideas for Homemade gifts etc. for Christmas. I also have a Mr. Linky set up so that others can post their ideas as well. I would love for you to join me. Another excellent resource for getting ideas for homemade gifts is at the Library. Our library has many, many books with ideas and instructions in them.
  • Wrapping Paper. I think it is fun to have pretty gifts but I am not so much into using brand new paper that gets crumpled up immediately. I have written a whole post on various ways to wrap your presents without using new paper.

Though we aren't completely Thrifty and Green with our Christmas celebration (We do enjoy lights on our house) but every bit helps and it can also be a lot of fun to go that route!!

What ways are you Thrifty and Green for the holidays?


Going Green Mama said...

The most important thing we are trying to do is re-center ourselves this holiday season. Less emphasis on "stuff" and more on experiences. My husband and I decided we'd rather our kids remember us doing things rather than just open presents quickly on Christmas Day.

So this year, we're attending a breakfast with Santa that is a fundraiser for a domestic violence shelter and having two little friends come to decorate cookies. My oldest made handmade Christmas ornaments for gifts, which were very well received. And what gifts we do buy will be wrapped in reused gift bags. That's just a start!

Rebecca said...

Your Christmas sounds pretty thrifty and green to me! I, too, always went without a Christmas tree, both to save money (though I guess it saves just $10-15 here in Oregon) and for the environmental aspects of it. This year I've decided to get one, and I have also decided (rationalized?) that it's not that wasteful considering 1. tree farms grow the trees for the purpose of cutting them down for Christmas trees, 2. then they replant them, 3. they are later turned into mulch.

I like your other ideas, too! Thanks for the Thrifty Green Thursday tips!


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