A Simple Guide to a Conscious Christmas // Mindful Living

Ahh the festive season.....that time of year when everything and everyone goes a little nuts! Christmas, a time of family, giving and love has unfortunately turned into a time of waste, consumerism, and money. Christmas has become an extremely commercial holiday, with marketing agencies and big brands, earning millions through the consumerist occasion of the holiday season. Tonnes upon tonnes of waste is generated during this time of year, from food waste to plastic waste and even "money waste", with people spending hundreds on needless items.

So today I decided to share 10 simple tips and ideas to having a more conscious Christmas, so that you can beat the consumerism, reduce your waste, keep your bank account in check, and lessen you impact on the planet. Lets dive right in!

1. Don't buy into the Christmas consumer rush.

Brands and companies really take advantage of Christmas and literally push anything festive related into our faces. Like, I swear, there have been Christmas decorations in the shops since October! Please be mindful while you're shopping and don't buy more decorations or chocolates just because they're on sale or in the front aisle of the store.

2. Buy meaningful gifts.

A lot of the time we can get stressed out and overwhelmed by the amount of Christmas gifts we need to buy. Instead of buying several meaningless gifts and cards for the several people you barely know, stick to buying real meaningful and useful gifts for those close to you.

3. Try make your own gifts.

This is a little challenge we like to do in my family and that is to try and make as many of your Christmas gifts as possible. I personally love this because it means you can get creative, put meaning into your gifts and personalise them. Pinterest will be your new best friend, if it isn't already!

4. Do secret Santa.

Another tradition we've had in my family for as long as I can remember (like before secret Santa was even a thing and people thought we were really weird) is secret Santa. Just write all your friends' or family's names on pieces of paper, fold them up, put them in a bowl or hat, and let each person pick a name (without looking!). This way each person only needs to buy one gift for a specific person. This means less waste, more meaning behind the gift, plus it'll be a surprise since you won't know who picked your name! You could even add a price budget to the gifts people buy, so for example in my family we have a budget of R200. That means that we cannot spend more than R200 on our gift. Your bank account will thank you!

5. Buy secondhand.

Charity shops and secondhand stores are a wealth of lovely gifts and even Christmas decor for half the price compared to a regular store. Plus all these things already exist which means you won't be buying new items that used more resources and created more waste to be produced.

6. Make your own Christmas decor.

Making your own Christmas decor is fun and usually quite simple using items you probably already have lying around the house (or even in your recycling bin!). This allows you to save on money, get creative, and skip on the plastic! Check out my tutorial on some easy zero waste Christmas decorations you can make at home.

7. Gift an experience.

Experiences can make the best gifts because the memories will last forever (cheesy I know!). But it's true, an experience can be much more meaningful than just a gift, and it doesn't have to be something extravagant like a concert ticket, bungee jumping or something like that. It can be a special coffee date, maybe a dinner, a spa day or walk in the forest. And again get creative, home cook your meal, decorate the room, give the manicure or foot massage yourself - there's no need to spend money on someone else doing it for you! Create an experience for that person and make it special.

8. Reuse your wrapping paper.

Don't rip or chuck away your wrapping paper, save it and use it for the following Christmas, or even for birthdays. I've definitely received a fair number of Christmas wrapped gifts on my birthday!

9. Make your own wrapping paper.

Making your own wrapping paper is fun and easy to do, plus you can get really creative with it - which if you haven't noticed I absolutely love! Use old scrap paper, newspapers or brown paper bags. Paint, draw and decorate it however you like, the possibilities are endless.

10. Fabric wrap your gifts.

Anyone that receives a gift from me can most likely expect it to be wrapped in fabric. Scarves, shawls, or fabric scraps are excellent for wrapping gifts. Slap on some ribbon and you're good to go! And the great thing is it won't rip and you can use it again and again and again.

And there you go, 10 simple tips and ideas to help you reduce your waste this Christmas, plus some perfect opportunities to get really creative!

I hope you enjoyed this post and make sure to tag me on social media if you make any of your own gifts or decor, my social media handles will be linked below.

Happy Christmas creating!

Sahara xx

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