As Christmas approaches, it’s fair to say most of us feel tempted to push the boat out to some degree, whether that involves masses of presents, full-on festive décor, fancy new clothes, non-stop partying and mountains of food. After working hard all year, perhaps we feel we deserve to indulge and we want to spoil our nearest and dearest too. What’s more, as the holiday falls in the middle of winter, surely we can justify splashing out on a few rip-roaring celebrations to see us through the dark winter months, right?

But it’s something of an eye-opener to discover that

  • Only 1% of consumer goods are still in use 6 months later
  • The equivalent of 2 million turkeys end up in the bin each year
  • One in ten unwanted Christmas presents ends up in landfill*

Then there’s the clothes. Research from Oxfam reveals 61% of Brits say they won’t recycle last year’s Christmas party outfit, with 35% saying they don’t want to appear on social media wearing the same clothes 12 months later.  Nearly a fifth (18%) of people say they will buy at least FIVE pairs of shoes for Christmas and a quarter (24%) say they will be buying four or more tops for family gatherings, the office party and Christmas Day itself.  It seems we can be a vain bunch at times.

A minimalist Christmas

A more minimalist approach to the festivities seems to be catching on with an increasing number of families opting to purchase thoughtfully sourced pre-loved gifts without having to compromise on quality. And their children are no less happier for it.

Another strategy for holding back on buying too much for the kids is to follow the four gift rule. This involves sourcing something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. We’d say that ticks all the boxes.

Have a night off

Aside from OTT gift-giving at Christmas, we can feel obliged to say yes to every social invitation that comes our way because, who wants to be a party pooper?! But cramming another ‘do’ into an already jam-packed schedule, splashing out on yet another outfit, spending too much dosh on the night itself and drinking until we are sozzled won’t necessarily leave us brimming with the Christmas spirit in the way we might have hoped. Instead, we run the risk of feeling either drained or frazzled which defeats the purpose of going out to socialise in the first place. On balance, opting for fewer, slightly less wild nights out becomes more appealing, especially if there’s no headache to endure the next day!

Enjoy food in moderation

And when it comes to food shopping, planning ahead will make for more efficient use of the produce you’ve bought meaning less waste is generated. This way, every member of the family can be sure of having their fair share of sprouts! Our waistlines will feel the benefit too, as long as the temptation of another helping of trifle can be resisted. If you do run out of something essential, there’s always a shop open somewhere in the vicinity! On the subject of food, bear in mind that treating yourself to some delicious nosh at Cosalea is still very much on the agenda. Avoiding excess doesn’t rule out the enjoyment factor, if anything, it’s about choosing how to maximise it! And we are here to help make sure that happens!

Donate – and feel great!

Putting pressure on ourselves to over-indulge not only has implications for our wallets, and our stress levels, but also for the planet. Take note though, at least there’s one way to help prevent items going to landfill unnecessarily and that is by donating any unwanted and unopened toys to our appeal.

We will be collecting donations of gifts for Bury Community Support Network, a collaboration of foodbanks who work together across the whole borough of Bury.It’s the perfect chance to declutter prior to Christmas and gift any unused new toys, pyjamas and gift sets (in their original unopened packaging) to be distributed to children and families who need them the most this Christmas. We will also be accepting donations of chocolates/selection boxes.

This collaboration will ensure that any gifts kindly donated reach children who are in genuine need and bring some real Christmas Magic! Donations can be dropped off between Friday 19th November & Friday 10th December at Cosalea. We will be offering any children who donate unopened toys they no longer need with a small thank you.

Remember, a decision to avoid going overboard during the festive season doesn’t mean it has to be any less fun! When we declutter our day-to-day lives by addressing counter-productive habits, we can more easily focus on the things that are most meaningful to us. As a wise man said, ‘the ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.’

So, are you ready to embrace the idea of a ‘scaled down’ Christmas?!