Festive Favourites – My Christmas Top 5

With only just over a month until Christmas, it’s time to be getting into the festive spirit. I’m never keen when Christmas lights start to go up in October, but with a mere 5 weeks to go, my thoughts are turning to what I love about the Festive Season with my Christmas Top 5

1. I love Christmas Trees. I moved into a new flat with my other half last Winter, and we adorned the place with a bigger tree than you would have thought possible. This year I’m sure we’ll be doing the same. Perhaps there is an ethical argument for synthetic trees rather than ‘real’ trees as the former can be reused year after year. However I don’t think I’ll ever be converted to this more modern incarnation of the Christmas tree. Should I be ashamed? I don’t think so (although do correct me if you think I’m wrong!) Choose your tree sustainably, and make sure you dispose of it responsibly after you’ve enjoyed it fully, and you can feel happier in the knowledge that you’ve enjoyed Christmas and done your bit.

2. Christmas Cards – Perhaps it seems a little un-eco-friendly to be sending Christmas cards, and I’m definitely in support of big companies sending e-cards rather than hundreds of paper cards that will probably just languish in an office over Christmas. However…if I didn’t have cards from my friends and family around my house over Christmas it just wouldn’t feel right! The answer to this dilemma is undoubtedly to buy FSC certified or charity Christmas cards, and to recycle them afterwards. In fact my family has a habit of making their favourite cards from one year into gift tags for the next year, reusing as well as recycling.

3. Festive Food – Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without so much delicious food. Your favourite Christmas indulgence doesn’t have to be an enormous roast dinner, in fact I think I personally enjoy all of the other tasty trappings of Christmas more – you don’t get mulled wine and minced pies at any other time of year, and I love them! But if you’ve ever seen the figures of the airmiles a Christmas dinner can accrue before it even touches your table, or the estimations of how much food is wasted over Christmas it’s enough to turn your stomach. Shop locally when you can, and try to only buy what you’re actually going to eat. Eat enormously if that’s part of your festive fun, but try not to throw anything away.

4. Christmas Presents – They’re a form of great anguish for months, weeks or perhaps a mere 48 hours beforehand, but whether you’re an extremely organised shopper or a last-minute whirlwind, this tradition grown from the gifting of gold, frankincense and myrrh is a part of Christmas that can’t be ignored. I love it when I manage to find the perfect gift for a friend or family member, but the feeling of inadequacy when you can’t think of what to buy your good friend or partner of X number of years can push you to crisis point! Helen has already written a great Christmas Gift Guide for us, recommending ethical gifts as the way forwards. And if you’re given things you really don’t want don’t throw them away – charity shops always appreciate the donations, and you can always think about regifting next year!

5. Friends – Last but by not means least, I love seeing friends and family around Christmas – there’s no better excuse for getting people together who you haven’t seen for months. I love being hostess, so all that remains is to deck the halls, fill the cupboards with drinks and festive food and enjoy.

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