Sunday, 5 October 2014

It begins with C and ends with mas...

Yes; it is October so obviously an appropriate time to discuss Christmas!

This year we are trying our hardest to avoid so much stuff coming in to our house as I really feel that all the stuff devalues the day, not to mention a total waste of energy used to make it all (this is a fantastic short film about stuff). I hate the fact there is so much pressure to turn what is a religious festival (and even for the non religious a special time to be with friends and family) into festival of consumption.

If you decide to try and reduce the stuff this year then you might want to be a bit more subtle than I was - you would have thought I had suggested cancelling Christmas the way my parents reacted...

So, I thought I would start a list of gifts to buy that fall in to the 'non-stuff' category, if you have any ideas I would love to hear them!

1. New felt pens and pencils : Santa stuffs stockings in this house full of  new pens, pencils, glue sellotape etc. The kids love this and it stops them raiding my craft room! I would say craft kits here too but all ours end up sitting around for 6 months and are done in the summer holidays when it is raining!

2. Educational Magazine Subscriptions: My 2 get the RSPB magazine from their Granny and Grandad each year which is great. I am thinking about the kids national geographic for Big E this year.

3. Membership to attractions: This is difficult as it is normally cheaper to get a family or one adult many children membership but if your kids all want the same membership then you are on to a winner!

4. Adopt an animal: Many places do animal adoptions and normally you get different levels of sponsorship depending on the amount of money you donate. At Edinburgh Zoo they hold special adopters evenings where you can go in to the zoo after it is closed to the public.

Here are some links: Adopt with WWF
                                  Edinburgh Zoo
                                  London Zoo
                                  Born Free

5. A toy they really love: Lego is what springs to mind but it could be anything. I have learnt the hard way with this.
Last year little e wanted Monster High dolls so I got her them and she played with a few days and they have sat in a drawer since then. The year before it was Sylvannian Families tree house, again, it has been played with a few times and now sits on top of her wardrobe. Thankfully Big E is the opposite, he always asks for Lego and always plays with it. He makes up the model, plays with it for a couple of months as the model then they normally get broken up and the lego gets added to the drawers and made in to all sorts of amazing things. I do not grudge spending money on lego at all, well, there is a limit, I will not be buying the boat above - £169.99 is way too much!

6. A pet: Not ideal for everyone but this year Big E has already got part of his Christmas - a hamster which he adopted yesterday after falling in love with it on a trip to Pets at Home with Cubs last Thursday. It is not a new hamster but from there Adopt a Pet section. The owner of this hamster moved in to a flat where she wasn't allowed pets so had to give him up for adoption.

7. A bike or something else to keep fit: Big E and little e both got bikes for their birthday this year from my parents, they love cycling, and going on adventures on their bikes. Scooters, roller skates and skateboards are also great to keep them outside and moving and don't clutter up the house!

If anyone has any other ideas I would love to hear them, also if anyone can suggest how I convince the hoarder that is little e to donate or sell some of her unplayed with toys that would be great, I have tried saying she can get the money and telling her about people that have nothing and nothing has worked!

Linking to some of these parties!


  1. Stopping by from Tutorial Tuesday link party. I struggle with this every year. With 2 small kids, my family goes over board with the gift giving. I make an Amazon wish list and only put things they actually need and only buy them one toy each. Then every 6 month I go through all their toys and donate anything they haven't played with.

    1. We have just done a massive donate, hopefully we don't just refill! A x

  2. These are great ideas! I love the idea of not getting a bunch of stuff, but still being able to give gifts. I also like things that can be used up so you're not stuck with them forever, food type stuff or body care products are good for that.