Every year I try to think of a new way to give gifts that are light on their environmental impact and it's exhausting. One year I even tried not giving physical gifts but rather experiences and it totally bombed. Less than half of the recipients used their gift and not because they weren't a good choice for the individual but because they just didn't have the time. I get it, a lot of people probably cursed my name for getting their kid lessons or classes that required them to drive them somewhere once a week. I just couldn't do any more toys. Kids have so many toys, so.many.toys
I normally would jump to Etsy as my solution to find non typical toys or non-toy gifts but the Canadian dollar is so frickin terrible right now that it makes options on Etsy very limited. Even when I search only stores in Canada I still get hit with the high shipping charges, which in most cases totally busted the budget.
Then I had a light bulb moment. What if I just gave people what they wanted instead of looking for the perfect wooden toy made in Canada with solar powered wind mills and fair trade recycled not old growth wood that was harvested and carried through the tundra by unicorns. (If you sell this product please call me).
What if I gave with purpose rather than trying to live up to some guilt ridden ideal that I keep placing on myself? Craft supplies, STEM products and games are all under the tree this year, and yes some of them contain plastic. I was looking for a dream catcher making kit and the one I had my eye on came with a wooden ring as the base for the dream catcher. The problem was that it was twice the price of the kit with the plastic ring. Was I really going to spend an extra $20 just to get a wooden ring? No. No I was not.
Often I find the perfect gift when I am browsing Mom2Mom Facebook groups or thrift stores but that holiday guilt creeps up and I wonder what others will think of a 2nd hand gift. I do it all the time for my own kid, and he thinks its pretty cool, but not everyone is okay with it. And honestly, I bet they would think that I am cheap.
I'm starting to find peace with a non 100% green holiday. My food will still be organic, gifts are wrapped with upcycled paper, and about half of the gifts for B are 2nd hand or homemade. But our gingerbread houses are full of HFCS, our tree isn't real and there is a plastic bow and arrows under the tree.
Do you put pressure on yourself to have that perfectly green holiday?
Related Posts - Check them out
Buying Gifts for an Eco-Conscious Girl
Can Christmas Be Waste Free?
Holiday Gift Guide - Thinking Outside of the Gift Box