Merry nearly Christmas everyone! There are now just under 5 weeks left until Christmas Day, and with the busyness of the coming season we have already started our celebrations with some family and friends. I had my first mince pie of the season last week, and yesterday I even dug out my Christmas jumper for a first showing!
We love Christmas, but for a few years have also found it a bit of a tense time – finding the excesses of the season more than a bit uncomfortable. Vast amounts of money spent, often on things that are not needed (and sometimes not even really wanted). More food bought and cooked than can possibly be eaten. Plastic plastic everywhere. I don’t want to be a humbug, but rather than making me excited the Christmas excesses just make me feel queasy. This year we decided to do things differently.
Like lots of oikos things, we’ve been working on this stuff for a while but have taken some more intentional steps this year. One big step was writing a letter to our family about changes that we are making for Christmas this year, and suggesting changes that they could make.
Writing this was genuinely a family effort – though Mummy did do most (all) of the actual writing. We all sat down and talked about what kind of things we could do differently this year – making presents or finding them in charity shops, reusing wrapping paper (tied together with ribbons and string). Even before we were car free we had decided to be more intentional with our travel plans – slowing down, not trying to bounce around seeing everyone, making the most of when we did travel – why not relax and save the world at the same time?! And of course, just buying less stuff.
We copied out this letter for each of our family members. We tried to be gentle and clear, to offer practical suggestions as well as explaining why. Everyone took it really well, and we have had some great conversations since about all things oikos!
As with most things we are still working this out, and would love to hear what this journey looks like for you and your oikos too. If you would like some more hints and tips this page from Wildlife Trusts is really helpful.