With the pressure of having a perfect holiday, the indulgence that all the ads and media around us encourage, it’s hard to resist buying every item we encounter on the shelves of our favourite shops. But when January comes and our pockets are empty, we are likely to regret the excessive spending we made and we might realise that we actually didn’t like some of the things we bought all that much. The planet also suffers from this over-consumption. Christmas lights running basically non-stop for the season, doesn’t come without huge energy consumption. Not to mention how a great percentage of the items purchased are going to be thrown away, a good chunk of them being non-recyclable. Adding present wrapping, Christmas clothes that will be worn for a couple of weeks a year, and an incredible amount of food waste comes with a big environmental cost.
Here are ten items that you can do without this Christmas:
1. Reindeer Antlers for your car
You are not fooling anybody; your car is not a reindeer. Others may see your car decorations, but while driving, you won’t. There is no need for items like this, especially given that you will use them for a month only. These decorations are not durable enough to be put outdoors, and they don’t last long. Save those few euros for a hot chocolate with friends or a small donation to a charity.
2. Excessive Christmas Lights
They are tacky, bad for the environment, and with the recent rising cost of electricity, who can even afford them? The same candid effect can be added by putting a few candles around, perhaps a cinnamon scented one. This will help keep the electricity bill affordable, without missing on that Christmassy feeling.
3. Sequin dresses
There is no doubt sequins are fun and festive, but fast fashion brands will cover every woman’s fashion item with them year after year. At this point, most females already have a dress, a skirt, or a top with sequins on them, and there is no need for more. On the other hand, men’s clothing stays plain, basic and even boring at times. It would be a good idea to put some of the sequins used in the women’s section into the men’s one.
4. Wrapping Paper
Instead of buying more paper that will go straight to the bin once presents are opened, why not get creative? Newspaper pages, the fabric of an old curtain, padding paper from old parcels, etc… The possibilities are endless. It will add a nice personal touch to your presents, and it’s a much greener option!
5. Generic presents
We all have that one person in our lives that we don’t know what to give. It seems like they already have it all. Although getting them a perfume, a candle, a nice pair of socks or some other generic present may seem like a handy option, will they love it, or even use your gift? Save the money and get original. Something handmade like a scrapbook with childhood pictures and memories, personal Spotify playlists, a plant, a fun painting, pre-owned things, digital subscriptions such as Audible, an edited video with memories and a special song, baked goods… the sky is the limit.
6. Too many Quality Street boxes
A box of chocolates is always a nice detail, but there are always too many of them during Christmas in every household. To save some waste on packaging and a few euros too, try to make an evening of it with some friend and bake some biscuits or rice krispies buns yourselves. You can personalise them, spend some quality time with people doing something inexpensive, and it comes across as more thoughtful.
7. Christmas themed household items
We do not need household items to make our house look cosy and Christmassy. There is no point in buying hot water bottles, cups, travel mugs, etc… that will be used much less than the ones we already have. Instead, you can always get products with Christmas colours such as red or green without very obvious Christmas slogans or patterns. This way you will still be able to use them all year long!
8. Christmas Cards
Christmas cards are just a very expensive piece of paper. Why not write a short letter to our friends and family instead? If this is not for you, purchase them from a charity where the money goes to a good cause.
Tinsel is just sparkly tasselled plastic. It’s not too nice and its use is very limited. Ribbons, Christmas colour garlands or other DIY Christmas decorations are a great switch.
10. Christmas pudding
As a norm, it’s only the older members of the family that like them, and no more than two or three people will have it in a household. Although your grandad may love it, there’s other desserts that he’ll probably enjoy along with the rest of the family.