No More Christmas Crap Pledge

Greetings to all on this cold November’s Saturday evening! I can tell you there is quite a nip in the air today and we just put the antifreeze into the car’s windscreen-wash. I wanted to tell you about a wonderful campaign that Cheapchick has started, called the Campaign for “No More Christmas Crap” which I’m going to take part in.

You can read all about it at the above link – the gist of it being that you:

  1. Only spend money on gifts and food for christmas. Making gifts also falls into this category.
  2. Christmas Decorations must be free or secondhand
  3. After Christmas, recycle all wrapping paper, bows and ribbons etc.
  4. Christmas functions are allowed
  5. No new clothes for christmas parties – wear it again/borrow something etc.

You get one “get out of jail free card” out of the above guidelines, and can spend to the value of $15 Canadian dollars which is about €11. I hope I have understood that correctly!

I think it sounds like a great challenge because Christmas has just become so commercial and just so unenvironmentally-friendly. There is so much waste with wrapping paper, and I have come up with a (not very frugal, but definitely more environmentally friendly) solution to mounds of paper-waste which I will share when I’m finished ;)

I often see the big ships coming into the Harbour in Hamburg from Asia and South America and thinking about how far all this “stuff” comes to hang on our walls for a few weeks, or worse to get tossed away.

Not to go all religious, but seeing all the dressed windows in the city makes me wonder how Jesus being born in a stable, translates into all this “stuff”. I was also saddened during the week, seeing homeless people sleeping outside the large department stores. I wonder how the homeless with no family feel about looking at all of these fancy windows with smiling families.

I’m only going to buy presents that I know the person needs, give money, or a fair-trade gift if I don’t know what to get them.

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8 comments

  1. I took a similar pledge, My tree is a branch I found near the beach and dragged home, add a light coat of spray paint, all my decorations are ones I have had for years, most I’ve made. Gifts have real meaning as well. My youngest son and his wife I gave the gift of a new kitchen, zero waste as we used paint to transform it. My eldest son and his wife received a few things I had found and restored for their new home and plenty of babysitting through the year. The children are getting board games and lots of craft supplies. Just to have something to give my children they will be getting a food basket each on Christmas. That’s my Christmas shopping, easy and stress free.

  2. That sounds wonderful! Craft supplies were *always* my favourite gift as a child too:) A food basket is a practical and thoughtful gift for adults, because they will use it. Perhaps I shall borrow and adapt this idea with some fair-trade coffee! My sister’s yearly christmas request is always for small health-related products that are for sale in Germany but not in Ireland. E.g. herbal teas and lotions etc. For me it’s important that the gifts are actually needed and used because there are so many unused and unwanted gifts and it is such a waste.

  3. I agree, I did include some fair trade organic coffee in the food baskets as both my son’s and their wives enjoy coffee. My hope is that they will one day purchase the fair trade over what is cheaper more often. With adults we know what we want in our homes, and rarely need stuff. Another good idea I use is to include birdseed for those who enjoy feeding the birds, it’s consumable and not something they will have to figure out what to do with later.

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog and sharing the No More Christmas Crap Movement with your readers! I find this oath actually brings out the creativity. I love the idea of a painted branch for a tree – lovely way to display ornaments. I was thinking of creating a bunting using things I find on the beach as well as we live near the Ocean. I hate waste and you obviously agree! One of my Christmas gifts to my stepdaughter is a beautiful fair trade scarf from Vietnam. I love supporting Fair Trade stores.

  5. Yes it’s definitely a challenge into being more creative – which is more fun and a good exercise! But thank YOU for having the idea to start a challenge like this :) I’m happy to spread the word!

  6. I guess we can only be responsible for our own purchases and just lead by example. The way I look at it is that the extra €1 I spend is minus €3.50 for a greedy corporation who exploit the poorest people in the world. Consumers hold SO much power they don’t even realise.

    Yesterday, for example I was standing at the supermarket shelf looking at eggs. I couldn’t figure out why battery eggs even still exist if there is ten measly cents in the price difference. Ten cents at the checkout is enough to warrant a completely different production technique. THAT’s how much power the consumer has.

  7. I agree we do have more power than most people realize. I’m impressed with your egg prices. I was at the store Thursday and bought eggs. The battery ones cost $1.98 for a dozen the free range organic cost $3.98 For me I’m willing to pay the extra $2. but not everyone is. For my sons, I know they are doing the best they can with trying to raise a family. But they are making little choices in their lives resulting in moving in the right direction IMO. They have changed out light bulbs to CFL and LED, begun recycling, are growing some of their own food and even replacing windows in their homes. I know in time they will get where they want to be.

  8. Oh I meant ten cents between non organic for both. The organic would be more again. Its all about baby steps and doing what you can manage

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