Our Ecological Christmas


I know its only November but this Christmas I am trying something new when it comes to the gifts I give the the rest of the Old Fashioned family…and it will take a little planning.

My aim for presents this Christmas is to give at least 75% secondhand, already owned or handmade gifts and to avoid buying or using any new wrapping materials.

This is partly to save money but also to reduce the amount I buy and consume as well as reducing packaging and that huge pile of paper and boxes that is thrown away on Boxing Day.

After all I rarely buy new clothes, books or homeware, favouring charity shops and vintage shops, and I am moving away from packaging in favour of buying from my local thrice weekly market and monthly artisan market using my own bags and containers as much as possible so it seems madness to buy everything new in its packaging for gifts.

Father Christmas and I buy for my family of 1 Small Boy, 2 smaller boys, 1 teenager and 6 adult family members. Plus we have a family birthday on Christmas Day. So that’s 10 people, 11 acts of giving, probably at least 30 presents from just this small household alone.

That’s a lot of potential money and waste.

So far I have got (or at least planned in the case of handmade gifts)…


❦ 3 board games (junior monopoly, boggle and a racing game game) bought in local charity shops

❦ Harry Potter wand in silk lined box bought almost new on eBay


❦ One of my beloved vintage evening dresses

❦ Wooden ninja sword bought for Small Boy last Christmas but kept behind due to excess buying

❦ First 4 Harry Potter books that Small Boy wants to read with me after watching the films with his Dad. I’m on the look out for the last 3 in charity shops over the next few weeks

❦ The wooden castle Father Christmas brought Small Boy 3 Christmases ago which he is desperate to have painted to look like Hogwarts (“Mama Christmas” is going to take it away soon and hopefully return it fully Rowlinged on Christmas morning)

❦ Bottle of aftershave won by me in a raffle last month

❦ A little paper Rocking Horse Racing game I must have bought at some unspecified time in the past but don’t remember ever seeing before

❦ 4 unopened art kits and an immaculate Make your own Robot book that have sat in Small Boy’s craft drawer without him even looking in it for over a year

❦ A lovely Peter Rabbit book

❦ One of Small Boy’s toys that he never even opened.

❦ A pile of the best of Small Boy’s slightly worn clothes

❦ A photo booth prop game bought for the family last Christmas but not used as I forgot I had it (says it all…)


❦ A handsewn tote made from my fabric stash for each adult family member. These will hold each person’s other presents and act as gift bags

❦ Sets of handmade loose fruit and veg drawstring bags bundled up with ribbon for the 2 adults I think may use them

❦ Set of felt Harry Potter mini figures Small Boy has asked me to make to go with his newly painted castle…Harry, Hermione, Ron, Draco, Hedwig, Hagrid, Dumbledore and He-who-shall-not-be-named. He also would like Fang, Buckbeak, a Dementor and a Norwegian Ridgeback “if possible”

❦ Biscuit sculptures (with little ribbon loops)

❦ Christmas sprout pinata made with recycled or already owned materials filled with the obligatory chocolate coins to be whacked with Grandpa’s walking stick

❦ Chocolate bark filled with sweets, nuts, rose petals, the remnants of my cake sprinkle jar and dehydrated fruit


❦ A printed hessian Sack for Small Boy to put out for Father Christmas to fill with his unwrapped presents…though he asked if we could use a pillowcase instead as Little Sister and I used to do as children so I intend to take this back.

❦ Gold foil wrapped chocolate coins

❦ 3 pairs of Christmas Eve pyjamas for the children

❦ A pair of Christmas Eve socks for every family member bought in multi packs with the extra pairs to be put away for next year

❦ The new Diary of a Wimpy Kid that Small Boy desperately wants (only came out last week)

❦ A top that was so perfect for the intended recipient it made me squeal out loud in the shop

How are you planning on giving this Christmas?

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  • Reply November 10, 2015


    Brilliant! really enjoyed reading this – I too had had the idea of making a bag for the ‘shoppers’ in my family (also trying to destash at the same time!) but hadn’t thought of making gift bags for people’s presents!
    I’m also making pj bottoms for my little ones for Christmas Eve.
    Hope you have a great thrifty time xx

  • […] beds on Christmas Eve instead of stockings. Small Boy does have a stocking but this year, as I am not doing wrapping paper, I bought him a christmas sack; but he asked if he could just put out his pillowcase for Father […]

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