The following won’t apply to those who can’t imagine any kind of celebration without glitters, artificial decorations and brand new expensive luxuriously wrapped gifts.
Text: Anežka Prosecká
DIY (Do It Yourself) is the best way how to be economical, ecological and personal with giving. You can go from the bottom – making everything from “raw” material to the last layer of wrapping by yourself. YouTube and Pinterest are fulfilled with ideas for those, whose excitement did not meet with creativity.
Give food or cosmetics (most likely nature-friendly), something useful, what will eventually run out and won’t sit on the shelf for years catching sunlight and moon dust.
Decorations from serial manufacturers, so-called dust-catchers, are made from hard plastic or any other long-term decomposable material or at least are coloured with some not nature-friendly paint.
DIY food. Go for bulk and use it in several ways. Granola, muesli bars, and oatmeal – they have same base of ingredients, you can play with wrapping them and they are then more special when homemade. Similarly, you can go with dry mixture for soup – buckwheat, red lentils, grain flakes, spices, dried vegetables.
When you buy ingredients in bulk, you can mix several portions and have ready gifts for any occasion, including sudden invitation for coming over.
Homemade cosmetics. It brings the advantage of not contaminating nature when being used after.
Everything starts at home. Try to use as much as your home is able to provide. Old clothes, fabrics, papers, wooden pieces, large food packages, and so on. After considering all the opportunities for DIY, make a shopping list and keep it on you for any time you would randomly go to the market. Never buy things with that promise that you will find out something to do with them.
Wrapping. Again – home is the source. Those who like sewing can make anything from old curtains, fabrics, table tops, and clothes. Those who are not that good at it can use these materials instead of buying new wrapping paper, which often contains artificial colours and flame-proof chemicals. They do harm to nature when they decompose.
Use glass or any other reusable jars instead of cellophane bags. That counts also for decorations. You can redecorate glasses all over again – with beads and wires, some writings or patterns, knitted or crochet coats or just wrap them into some old photos from newspapers or magazines.
For decorating you can always use what nature gives to you during the seasons. Dried apples on the string, leaves, branches, egg shells, grass, plant zest – the list is endless.
Nowadays you can also get clear plastic balls. You can change filling in them according to season and use them as a decoration any time of year! These fillings can be some dried foods, herbs, small stones, beads, crayon shavings.
You can also choose to buy products of better quality, which one would not normally buy – nut oil, plant syrup, high quality meat, superfoods, nutrition additives; also ecological personal and home care products.
DIY gifts do not necessarily have to be tangible objects, they can be virtual gifts. You can make sa pecial playlist, funny video, presentation of life moments, poems or lines for one you appreciate. More than that, these gifts are not harmful to our nature.
During the year, whenever you see something that could be suitable for a particular person, do not wait for any occasion to give it. Just give that right away when you see the person. A birthday surprise can be more surprising when given three months earlier.
By the way, if your friends or family get offended by second-hand gifts or homemade wrapping, they should know that you did those things with love!
It is important to remember that our life revolves around communication. When you are struggling to find inspiration, you should say that to potential receivers. And you can agree rather on some common activity or exchange of some old stuff you do not use that often. You can always try to cook something more advanced than usually. You will get an useful experience, some new knowledge, and, hopefully, even a wonderful dinner. All the traditions are connected with long processes of preparations, which were finally the main purpose of the events – to make something together, no matter it turns out into.
When this philosophy will settle in your mind, you will be able to think wisely during the whole year. You will buy food in glass jars and store them, you will be able to find usage of several house leftovers, and you will be resistant against pointless shopping. There is infinity of possibilities how to show love and appreciation to your closest human beings. And, of course, it should not be solely related to particular days during the year.