Christmas without the consumerism means remembering what Christmas is about: the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s about letting go of plastic gifts, walking in the snow, eating comfort food and watching old films. Read Calm Christmas, a delightful guide to take you from shopping sprees and broken New Year resolutions to mindfulness, self-care and festive cheer. Remember what the season is really all about – walks in the snow, time with family, thoughtful gift-giving and meaningful observations. Also see recipes for a compassionate Christmas and keeping pets safe at Christmas.
Zero Waste Christmas Gifts
Chris Williamson for Green Pebble
- Avoid gifts with pet-toxic silica gel.
- Use recycled Christmas gift wrap.
- Avoid snow globes, these contain antifreeze (lethal, even in tiny amounts). If you do use them, keep them safely out of reach.
- Don’t take your children to see reindeer in shopping malls. Most are terrified by the bright lights and noise, and travel long distances (a bit like circus animals). Report events to Freedom for Animals.
- Choose a zero waste Advent calendar (keep chocolate away from pets).
Real or Artificial Christmas Trees?
If you use a real Christmas tree, discard faulty lights. Keep Christmas lights, plastic/glass decorations and tinsel (tempting to cats) away. Avoid chocolate gifts in trees. For real trees (you can rent them) choose non-drop needles to avoid stomach punctures. Avoid cocoa/pine/rubber mulch (and fresh compost) near pets. See how to make your garden safe for pets.
Green Elf Trees deliver sustainable Christmas trees, giving jobs to out-of-work entertainers. The service contributes £2 to Mind, Dogs Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Age UK (no longer tests on animals).
Many Christmas plants like holly, mistletoe, poinsettia and ivy are toxic to pets (as are many houseplants including lily and sago palm). See more on toxic houseplants to pets.
Putumayo Christmas World Music CDs
Whether you download them or buy the CDs, Putumayo World Music is the best! Enjoy these fantastic world music compilations, again and again for several years after purchase:
- French Christmas has music to lighten the mood and bring communities together from France and French-speaking Canada.
- Celtic Christmas has beautiful voices and entrancing instrumentation for an uplifting soundtrack for the holiday season. Includes music from Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada and the USA.
- New Orleans Christmas shows how to deck the halls with blues, jazz and swing holiday classics, from the Big Easy.
- Blues Christmas offers the perfect soundtrack, with blues being able to capture feelings of unbridles joy and heart-wrenching sorrow, often in the same song.
- Latin Christmas has festive Brazilian and Latin rhythms. Find regional and global classics.
- A Jazz and Blues Christmas offers a package to liven up the holiday season, with songs by legends and lesser-known artists.
- If you prefer more old-fashioned music, check out vintage songs from the label Past Perfect. The Vintage Christmas CD includes 25 tracks including songs from Nat King Cole, Kay Starr, Peggy Lee and Margaret Whiting.