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It’s The Thought That Counts

By Melissa Kane, Eco-friendly Mum 

It’s that time of year again when I am making a list and checking it twice (and trying to use my green conscience at the same time). I got to wondering, since when has Christmas been about proving to people you love them by how much you spend on them? Isn’t it the thought that counts?

It’s ok to make, cook or grow gifts instead of buying them -utilise your craftiness,  cooking ability or green thumb.

You can reduce your gifts carbon footprint by shopping locally, as in, try to limit shopping online to something you can’t source locally.

When buying for someone who has ‘everything’ or someone who misses out on things due to their circumstances, giving an experience like restaurant vouchers, theatre or movie tickets, a canoe trip down the Murray, Winton race lap, beauty treatment or music lessons is much more valuable – let’s concentrate on living life not accumulating more stuff.

Think consumables like, locally made wine, roasted coffee beans, chocolate, cheese, relish, all beautiful gifts and they don’t need storing after you enjoy them.

Reduce, less is more, more stuff is not going to make you or anyone else happier, just clutter up your house and blow out your credit card. Our extended family is doing a Kris Kringle with a wish list system, this year which has the threefold effect of less stuff, less expense and better quality, trifecta!

Reuse, the gift I most desire this year is to have my wedding day earrings repaired, true it will cost as much as a new pair, but I am quite sentimental about them and I will never find the same exact pair, I would much rather have these ones repaired as a gift so I can cherish them forever.

Recycle, I bought one girlfriend a book at a second hand book shop, she has been harping on about this book for years, as an avid book clubber I’m confident she won’t mind someone else having read it before her. The ultimate recycle is to re-gift the unwanted present from years past, a bit cheeky I know, it must still be brand new in the box (just remember not to give it back to the person who gave it to you!).

Give the gift of giving, by supporting charities in third world countries, buy an African family a goat, an invaluable gift for a family in need.

Remember it is the thought that counts, Christmas is about spending time with your loved ones, not spending more money on them.