'Ish Christmas

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'Ish Christmas

Post: #176090 flyonthewall
Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:12 pm

OK so every time I walk past the shops I'm going GRRR at the masses of Christmas tat already stuffing the shelves....adverts for all kinds of credit for people who can ill afford it to rack up Christmas debt on the quest for a "perfect" Christmas.

I thought I'd start a thread on ideas for how to have an Ish Christmas - surely, it's possible to be festive and have a great time without breaking the bank buying oodles of plastic tat that the kids will play with once and then cast aside....I've seen Gem's thread in Looks Like We Made It on homemade Christmas hampers, and thought, if there is anywhere I'll get ideas on alternative Christmas, it's here! Being green doesn't have to mean being a Grinch, and I'm looking forward to trying to do things differently this year.
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Re: 'Ish Christmas

Post: #176098 red
Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:59 pm

one tip i picked up from here - we wrap our presents in old newspaper - no one cares about the wrapping.. its the present we like! - and newspaper is great to wrap with. you can also use christmassy magazines etc.
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Re: 'Ish Christmas

Post: #176111 Flo
Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:00 pm

Get back to basics and just remember as someone said elsewhere, when a baby was born in Bethlehem everyone in town didn't suddenly go shopping for presents for everyone else in town. Neither did they throw the biggest feast you ever did see nor go on a round of all the pubs and get thoroughly drunk.

Family and myself were sitting in the garden centre cafe today having a relaxed cup of tea and cakes/soup near the Christmas decoration department when daughter looked over at something and said "shall we have a branch with snow on for a Christmas tree this year?" 17 year old grandson and I saw the price immediately and he said "Yeah if we can find a free branch and spray some cheap glitter on it".

So there is one idea - if you can find a free branch make your own tree which you can plant in any plant pot that comes to hand which can be suitably decorated, likely you can find a fallen branch or scrounge a pruning that hasn't yet been shredded or burned. Have a tour of the charity shops and see if they have any decorations going cheap if you haven't the inspiration and bits to make your own.

Remember that you have to clear up after Christmas and attempt not to make extra landfill by having decorations that can't be reused.

Only cook as much food as the family can eat for the main meal. You can't eat any more because it's Christmas so why buy more? There's no fun in eating leftovers for a week is there?

Have a good clearing out of the house before you do the shopping so that there are no outgrown toys and/or clothes loafing around if there are children. You may find last year's forgotten cards, decorations and wrapping paper too (happens often enough). Recycle where you can with the clearing out. This will probably give you a clue as to people would like for replacements - a few really nice, good quality clothes are as welcome for most youngsters as toys. Same goes for adults.

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Re: 'Ish Christmas

Post: #176115 John Headstrong
Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:29 pm

my plan involves radical xmas cards

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Re: 'Ish Christmas

Post: #176116 flyonthewall
Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:31 pm

We've been having a clearout of my partner's daughter's stuff recently Flo, and some of the things she got for Christmas last year she no longer wants, and some of it hasn't even been used! She doesn't even remember unwrapping them. So you're right about things like nice clothes being just as good as toys for kids.
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Re: 'Ish Christmas

Post: #176118 Flo
Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:42 pm

Yep I remember my children being just as excited about clothes from a small age. You've just got to find the quality ones that appeal. Step daughter is brilliant at picking clothes for all her kids' cousins. She just seems to have the eye for a quality item that will wash, wear and get worn. But never forget that a few toys are good if you can actually find the ones that will be used.

But it's the whole atmosphere that counts. If Christmas is just about "stuff" then it will certainly be that a lot is unused. John's card actually sums up what Christmas has actually become. It's stopped being either religious or a holiday and become a spendfest that keeps people tied to producing more and more. Neither good for the environment nor good for the workers.

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Re: 'Ish Christmas

Post: #176119 The Riff-Raff Element
Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:52 pm

Flo wrote:There's no fun in eating leftovers for a week is there?



I'd take slight issue with this since I base about half of my culinary repertoire on imaginative creatations generated from left overs, but I take your point.

I think the home-made hampers are a brilliant idea. We've done something similar since a time a few years ago when we could afford to do anything else.

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Re: 'Ish Christmas

Post: #176125 red
Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:17 pm

Flo wrote: There's no fun in eating leftovers for a week is there?.


i disagree with this one. we cook a large ham and a large turkey, and then we dont have to cook again for several days - and I love turkey sarnies - one of the best bits. And I always make turkey soup. If we are all well, and time is plentiful, I cook interesting things with said ham and turkey and other left overs, but if i dont - the sarnies are nice anyways. I actually think its an economy all told.
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Re: 'Ish Christmas

Post: #176126 red
Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:21 pm

you can make a lot of presents - even for the kids, or assemble stuff for them to make - eg a plain white t shirt, and some iron on t-shirt transfers.. .

between himself and I there are always homemade thigns - last year I did a 'what the hell did we do last year?' calendar, with pictures of places we went and did throughout the year, and I usually knit socks etc. we give each other vouchers too.. like 'this voucher entitles you to breakfast in bed..' etc... kinda fun
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Re: 'Ish Christmas

Post: #176132 Urban Ayisha
Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:34 pm

i have done the vouchers thing many-a-time, and more often than not they never get 'cashed'. Bonus! arent i awful hehe. this year everyone will be mostly getting the chutneys and jams i made. its a sad thing that people get so tied up in the gift thing. i have a friend who is 24 and is bed-ridden with cancer, yet today her twin sister (my best friend) told me she has written her down a long list of gifts so that she can go out and get them for her (as she cant go shopping herself)! i love them both very much but how tragic is that?!

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Re: 'Ish Christmas

Post: #176138 KathyLauren
Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:51 am

While I like the ideas presented so far in this thread, I would like to put in a plug for not feeling obliged to observe Christmas at all. There are basically two reasons to observe Christmas: religious and cultural. I have nothing against those who find something of value in either of those reasons, especially if you can observe it in an appropriately 'ish manner. But for those who don't, I just want to add that it is perfectly okay to not observe it at all.

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Re: 'Ish Christmas

Post: #176140 Millymollymandy
Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:29 am

I'm umming and ahhing as to whether to bother with any decorations this year as no-one is coming to stay :thumbright: but I've still got my little Christmas tree in a pot outside which has served us well the last two Christmasses and it only cost €5. It would be a shame not to bring it in and use it again!

So if you get the opportunity to buy a small tree with roots, pot it up into some decent soil with drainage and hopefully you'll be able to reuse it for several years to come, and there won't be a dead tree to try to get rid of after Xmas either.
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Re: 'Ish Christmas

Post: #176147 Rosendula
Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:24 am

This will be my LO's 4th Christmas, and so far we haven't given presents from her, an idea I don't much care for as everyone knows a tiny tot doesn't put any thought, effort, or money into giving a gift and it's just another one from the parents. This year, though, I thought she might like to start giving gifts and have decided to encourage her to make things, rather than buy them. So yesterday 'we' made a present for her to give her big sister (can't say what it is as Big Sis is an Isher and might read it). It was quite satisfying.

I would love to receive something home-made for Christmas and other occasions and have put suggestions forward in the past like a back warmer for the allotment (a bit of fluffy material with straps of elastic sewn on), asked for my shed to be painted, a cold frame made from some perspex I have kicking around the garden, a wooden bike trailer, and some other things that have left my head for the morning :coffee: Despite asking, I haven't yet received them :( I think sometimes people feel that if they don't spend money on a gift, they're ripping the recipient off, which is sad because that's really not the case.

Edited because I originally said "I would love to receive something home-made and Ish". I took out the Ish bit because I have received Ishy pressies, just not home-made ones. I really shouldn't post so early in a morning :wink:
Last edited by Rosendula on Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 'Ish Christmas

Post: #176151 The Riff-Raff Element
Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:52 am

But what about the poor retaillers? If we don't all rush out and spend money we haven't got on mountains of low-quality plastic tat we don't need the entire high street sweat shop economy could collapse and cheif execs might get slightly smaller bonus payouts. The poor loves.... :mrgreen:

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Re: 'Ish Christmas

Post: #176155 Flo
Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:43 am

Ain't you got Xmas in a nutshell there. Spendfest!


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