So I’ve seen a lot of people say they’re done all their Christmas shopping and that kind of sends me into a panic each and every time. I haven’t started shopping and in the next week I don’t foresee shopping in my future. But then I remember we’ve really cut back on the decision to buy material things and have narrowed down who were giving to and what we’re giving to ourselves.

With Odin having his “first” Christmas that he will begin to understand what is going on. We, of course, love for him to see the fun in the holiday. But we are a family with one working parent living one of the most expensive places in Canada and do we even have the means to spoil him? No, not really. Do we want to? Definitely not. We’d rather share wholesome happy moments and for him to experience gratitude for the little things, starting at a young age of course.

So this years list is easy and very short. We’ve come up with a few ways on purchasing smart & local, wasting less, and also really taking note to not go overboard. Here are a few things we did this #consciouschristmas!

– Re- Gifting.
I’ve always heard or even thought myself that it was tacky. But to save your money and sanity from going to the malls we’ve decided to re-gift. It was a boxed item going to the thrift store anyways so we thought – why not if someone we know will enjoy it.

I’ve always been a big thrifter. I could shop the thrift stores for hours and typically I’ll make a day of it and go to a few. Different thrift stores are better for certain things. I appreciate smaller ones that are usually run by Hospice Society’s or SPCA. I’ve shopped at thrift stores for Odin a lot. Kids are expensive and hey, if you can get gently used clothes or even toys for a fraction of the price why wouldn’t you!

– Shop local markets and craft fairs.
You’d be amazed at how many local vendors have such amazing product! I participated in two craft fairs so I really got a good look and to talk to some other vendors. They’re real people with hopes, dreams and families of all sorts! It is so nice to know I have helped someone local succeed – that is a gift in itself.

– Draw names.
Oh, the joys of large families! It really becomes a challenge when you decide to give each person a little something. Narrow it down, pick one and figure out what they need or would really like.

– Give experiences.
Dan and I loved hearing my sister-in-law saying this, especially referring to gifts for children. I totally believe in enriching a child’s mind by gifting a trip to Science World, Little Gym or even lessons of some sort at the local recreation centre. While there’s no mess and maybe not much to open up on Christmas morning what comes after will stick with them forever.

– DIY Gifts. If you’re an ambitious soul this time of year, DIY gifts are great. Everyone loves a good homemade product with natural ingredients. Items such as essential oil roller blends, candles, bubble bath or even some lavender room spray! Get creative with your gifts!

Ultimately, Christmas really isn’t about the gifts but who you’re with and what memories you’re creating. Gifts are just an extra special additive to the day. While gift wrap, packaging and all the big bows are pretty but so wasteful to our environment. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in the gift of giving – nothing warms your heart more. But I do believe in not buying into modern consumerism, we can be more conscious of who and what we support as well as putting a little bit of money back in our pockets.

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