There they all are, popstars with that winsome, pouty, tragic look: “Do they know its Christmas time at all?”
They could be singing it about me. Or every other English expat sitting out here on the other side of the world.
(Sorry Bob. And, um, Africa, I guess. Although that song is a teency bit demeaning, though, no? Anyway, gosh. This is just a frivolous festive post, okay? Not a discussion about the White Saviour Industrial Complex…)
Because: no! It totally does not feel like Christmas while I am getting sunburnt weeding the sweetcorn patch or watching my daughter and her mates decorate a stick of bamboo stuck in the sand on the beach in lieu of a pine tree embedded in snow.
(I’m not really complaining though, really, honest…. although I do love to rock a vintage Christmas jumper… but the sun is nice and all, of course…)
The fact of the matter is though, I haven’t been thinking too much about festivities really. I do mean to step it up a notch next week.
I have, over the last few years, however, thought an awful lot about Christmas. I thought I’d share all the favourite things I’ve bashed out, in a timely way, so you can crack on with them as advent begins.
1- This advent calendar was such a pleasure to make, and such a joy to look at. I can’t wait to pull it out again on Sunday and fill it with poems and jokes and prayers and sweets and dreams and thanks. (Another blogger helping me put more thought into Adent is Sacraparental with this 76 advent ideas post.)
2- A post I wrote last Christmas, with a lot of help from the whole of Facebook and Twitter, has gone kind of crazy. It is Sixty Great Gift Alternatives to Toys... and it is truly awesome. (Totally allowed to say that as only a few are my own ideas!!) It is packed full of cool as present ideas for kids, that don’t include filling up their bedrooms with more plastic crap. Share it around your family to inspire them! Find it here.
3- These homemade cinnamon Christmas birds are yummy smelling and fun and beautiful and just the very thing to make to get into the spirit of things. Must make them immediately.
4- However, I have sourced some awesomely cool fair trade gifts for children in my time. Here are my favourite ethical toys, if you’d rather. (Also, any Londoners reading- the Fair Christmas Fayre is on tomorrow on Oxford Street. No jokes, this is the ONE HUNDRED PER CENT BEST PLACE to buy every single gift for everyone. More details here.)
5- My Top Tips for a thrifty yet awesome Christmas are here. Hey, look. If there is one thing I know, it is how to enjoy life and not spend any money. I reeeeeeeally believe we need a new kind of Christmas- one that doesn’t drain the earth’s resources or our pockets.
6- Possibly my all time funnest craft. Razmataz dinosaurs. And cowboys. They look perfect as placeholders for Crimbo dinner… or even with a little cotton around them to hang on the tree.
So much to make and do! Think I’ve just managed to convince myself it IS Christmas by writing this. Hoorah for my fickle, easily persuaded mind!
Would love to hear about any awesome ethical Christmas posts you have read recently, or any way your family celebrates a Christmas that is easy on the earth…