Every year I struggle with Christmas and the associated mass consumption. I LOVE Christmas, and I was raised with loads of presents under the tree. Now I have three kids of my own, I have to fight the desire to just buy, buy, and buy for them. Buying gifts is FUN. Opening gifts is FUN. The damage to my bank account is NOT FUN. Nor is the twenty tons of packaging and gift paper wrapping or donating the aforementioned presents three months later because they are no longer novel.
Minimalism and zero wasting go hand in hand. Less stuff = less waste production. Every year, I try and improve on the last and buy less STUFF. Here are a few alternative ideas for Christmas gifts with kids.
Donate, Offset, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Regift, Make (make something or give them the equipment to make something themselves, e.g. a baking kit), Serve (others) and Support (small business).
A fellow Beijing mom created this great concept that she has implemented in her family and extended family. It basically involves buying nothing new (unless you are supporting a small local business). Check out the DORRRRMS Facebook page for more info. Head to Roundabout second-hand store in Shunyi for great second hand toys.
Give the gift of memories! Buy or make your own voucher for one of these Beijing experiences.
– Ice-skating at one of Beijing’s rinks
– Make your own piece pottery at 798 Art District for RMB 99
– Cinema tickets
– Laser tag
– High ropes course at Chaoyang Park
– Latitude or one of the many trampoline parks
– A manicure
– Beijing Aquarium
– LEGO Challenges – find and print out as a unique way to bring new life to Lego
If you just can’t bear the thought of no gifts…
Try limiting it to FOUR presents:
1. Something they want
2. Something they need
3. Something to wear
4. Something to read
Creative Gift Wrapping
Do the world a favor and use what already exists instead of buying new.
1. Save wrapping paper you have received, and re-use it
2. Upcycled paper – old book pages, magazines, newspapers
3. Fabric – use upcycled clothes, spare fabric pieces
4. Repurposed glass jars – paint/glue/glitter
Photos: monicore, QuinceMedia via Pixabay