3 shopping days to Christmas – a plea not to buy any more tat

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Posted Dec 22 2015 by Dave Darby of Lowimpact.org

Last minute Christmas shopping? Well, this is our last-minute plea for you not to do it. I was recently invited to a party with a ‘secret Santa’ that invited people to buy presents for less than £5. It’s a nice thought, but it inevitably resulted in a barrage of plastic trinkets that won’t last until next Christmas.

The buying of tat isn’t just unnecessary and almost definitely unwanted consumption, but also it’s usually made of plastic and transported half-way round the world, and therefore environmentally-damaging; it’s usually made in sweatshops, and therefore contributing to modern-day slavery; and it’s all to boost the money economy and make the wrong people rich.

I don’t want to sound like Scrooge – it’s nice to get together with friends and family and give presents – they just don’t have to be tat. Below are some alternative ideas – although it might be a bit late to get the skills for some of them, if you don’t already have them. Ah well, there’s always next Christmas.

  • write them a poem
  • bake them a cake or a loaf of bread or some biscuits
  • make them a jar of jam
  • give them a book that you’ve read and loved
  • sing them a song
  • knit them a pair of socks or a scarf
  • catch them a fish
  • carve them a spoon
  • make them some wine
  • make them a pot, basket or a Christmas wreath
  • draw them a picture
  • give them a little woodwork (or metalwork) project
  • make them a rag rug
  • collect some ivy, holly or mistletoe for them
  • roast them some chestnuts
  • give them a massage
  • make them some hand-made paper
  • give them a voucher for some DIY or gardening
  • give them some fruit or veg seeds you’ve saved
  • brew them some beer
  • make them some candles
  • grow them some mushrooms
  • make them some moisturiser or soap
  • make them a piece of jewellery or even furniture

Lots more ideas here – but really, anything but plastic, slave-produced tat made on the other side of the world.