Your More Sustainable Christmas Shopping List

nQlvmIoIt’s panic time now. You might even have to brave the crowds – and it’s not pretty out there. The shopping frenzy has gotten completely out of hand. People are getting hurt – and worse.

If you are following our blog, it’s likely that you have an interest in at one of these three things: kids, sustainability, design. If you have a child in The Fableists’ age demographic, they probably aren’t ready to completely adopt the ‘rather than presents, let’s donate to a worthy charity’ option and – let’s face it – Christmas is all about the kids.

First of all – a couple of tips:

  • Stay focussed. Don’t be distracted by all the shiny items.
  • Think about what you are buying. Remember that you have to pay for it, wrap it, hide it, get it under the tree, clean up and dispose of the packaging and wrapping, assemble it, tidy it up, store it, fix it, referee over it, fix it, tidy it and tidy it again and then find something to do with it when your kids are finished with it.
  • Think outside the box – literally. Try to avoid over-packaging.
  • Buy less but buy well. Kids will remember the one great gift for the rest of their lives. Can’t you?


So, without sounding too earnest, here are some last minute Christmas shopping ideas.

An Experience
Give tickets or membership to something your child will love or is desperate to go to. Receiving the tickets on Christmas will be exciting, even if the event is next October. It will give everyone something to look forward to and the experience will be memorable. It could be tickets to an event like live music, sport, a play, the cinema, or you could get a membership to something that will last all year like National Trust, English Heritage, Woodland Trust or RSPB. Perhaps a one day outing like zip-lining, hiking, sea kayaking or a longer trip to some place special, or camping. Choose something you can do together.

Make, Grow or Build
Building toys are a great investment. You can build them up and tear it down over and over and they are usually made of tough stuff that lasts for generations. They are ideal for passing along as they cover a broad age range and are good for boys and girls. All kids love making stuff, cooking, gardening. They love to watch things grow and will enjoy a real sense of accomplishment. If your kids love to draw and colour, then consider taking it up a notch with a pencil set, or some thinner felt tip markers, or a pencil case, compass set, sketch book. A favourite item at our house is unlined Moleskine books. They are durable and drastically cut back on loose sheets of wasted paper.


Something They Need
Kids will only moan about getting clothes for Christmas if you let them believe it’s a rubbish gift! Father Christmas knows when your child needs underwear, socks, tights, pyjamas, etc. What could be more magical than that? Christmas pyjamas help make the day last in to Boxing Day, too! Or maybe they need new football boots, tap shoes, guitar strings or a sleeping bag. Don’t forget, if you need any (ahem) amazing sustainable clothes, don’t forget to look us up, eh?

Christmas is all about games. It’s the best way to while away the time when the food is cooking and spread out the time between presents. Put a fire on, get those Christmas PJs on and gather round for a rousing game of … what will it be at your house this year?

Finding the perfect book for someone is the. best. feeling. Most kids love at least some kind of book; picture books, silly poems, factual books, trivia or question and answer books, activity books, choose your own ending, mysteries, classics, cookbooks, magical stories, ghost stories, or maybe it’s audio books for long car trips. Even quite grown up kids love to be read to. If your child is ready for more mature content, then why not get a special, more ‘grown up’ book to share with them. If you had a favourite when you were their age, they will love it all the more.

Music Making
Perhaps your child needs a new piano book? Or is interested in taking tuba lessons, or needs a bigger guitar? Or maybe they like listening to music and would use an MP3 player or vouchers to choose the songs they’d like. They could start to build their own music collection, whether its digital, vinyl, CDs or other.

Sports and Outdoor Equipment
Get that new bike you’re waiting for spring to get for Christmas. Even better – buy it second hand on ebay or a local yard sale. Be sure to get it serviced before letting them go out on it. If you’re planning to go camping this year, or on a holiday that requires bits and pieces, then buy them for Christmas! All outdoor equipment can be bought at Christmas: scooters, wagons, skateboard, skipping rope, sledges. They will keep until spring, just get a size bigger! Get a hand me down and clean it up and add some personal decorative touches and you’ll be giving the big kahuna of Christmas gifts!

When in doubt? Organic and Fairtrade chocolate is always well received!

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