Permaculture Christmas

Discussion in 'General chat' started by wormwood scrubs, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. wormwood scrubs

    wormwood scrubs Junior Member

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    This is my first Christmas since 'discovering' permaculture - i have never really liked the idea of modern Christmas (i always saw it as a marketing adventure, even more so since i found out the modern image of Santa was created for a coke ad).

    My extended family is not of the same opinion as I am, but I would like to use Christmas to gently encourage them to consider the possibilities.

    So far i have started some fruit tree cuttings and herb seeds, as well as starting a home brew to hand out on the day . . . but if you have any suggestions please let me know.

    also, permaculture is not in my spell check dictionary . . . rude!
     
  2. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Great question Wormy,

    A couple of Christmases ago, we told the family that we don't want them to give our kids (or us) anything made of plastic or anything with 'characters' on it i.e. merchandising of kids shows and the such. We said if they do feel compelled to give presents that we would prefer something homemade or at least made from natural materials. We said natural fibre clothes would be OK. Now only Granny and one aunty really give them gifts. It was obviously too hard! One christmas we gave the family an OXfam goat (you know how you buy a village a goat on their behalf). To say they were underwhelmed is an understatement. I think we might have ended up taking the 'card' that comes with the goat gift home with us.

    I guess Christmas has gone well beyond the whole family get-together and is now mostly about commercial gifts and folks have difficulty separating it out.

    Some suggestions we have had a go at is. Home made jams and preserves, lavender smelly things, a garlic plait, home-made felt or woollen toys, home-made wooden toys.

    It's funny because often when kids come to visit and play, they go through the house looking for things and come back to ask incredulously 'where are all your toys!?" Our girls usually have fun with something they've found lying around, a box, a piece of felt, a broken CD case, anything really, play with it for a while, a day, a week, whatever and then happily move on to the next thing (or kick up a terrible stink if we've 'accidentally' thrown their [insert invented name here] in the bin).

    My sister in law loves anything to do with limes, so we go with that theme (lime jam or something). Grandpa loves garlic, so he might get some pickled garlic. You know what I mean?
     
  3. wormwood scrubs

    wormwood scrubs Junior Member

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    i have a one year old boy andwe have been very strict with the no plastic/disney/merchandise and it has sort of worked. vinnies has received a few toys that were not opened. i also have a father in lawwho asks if we are missing tv every time i see him.

    i might be cranky if i got an oxfam goat before i had one of my own! :)
     
  4. dannyboy

    dannyboy Junior Member

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    We generally get our kids gifts (and clothes, furniture, etc) from the op shop/ebay where we can and encourage friends and family to do the same if they want to get our kids prezzies. If they can make something then that's even better. Mum's starting to get into it and came up with the idea of making a little wooden rocking bassinet to put a doll in for my daughter which I thought was great!
    I found this awesome set of metal Tonka trucks last year at an op shop that were a bit rusty and dented in spots but my little boy was stoked when he got them and still plays with them all the time.

    I hear you man
     
  5. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    We don't really do actual pressies at xmas; even birthdays not much:)
    We do similar stuff to Graham: my extended family share the Oxfam gift, that way we can get a 'big pressie'.
    Last year it was a clean water source and I'd like us to give water again, unless there's an awesome alternative!
    There's only a few young kids in the family (for now...), so that makes the 'plastic crap' thing much easier.
    There's a raspberry grower over the road from my folks and we always go picking, then make tons of raspberry jam with cool labels as gifts.
    If buying stuff's required, might the extended family be up for pooling together for fewer, better gifts? A good bike, fishing gear, tools....
    If someone's creative, I think basically everyone appreciates the care that goes into something handmade.
    For us, xmas pretty much revolves around foood and the things we take are gifts too.
    My cousin always makes strawberry-infused vodka that goes in the xmas breakfast champers (did I mention there's not many kids?):p
    My brother's a hunter and he's bringing a wild pig ham.
    I've made the xmas cakes.
    My aunt makes a million mince tarts...
     
  6. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Herbs, plants, trees always make good gifts.
    I often indulge in some inexpensive terracotta pots to put them in; although i have left my run a bit late this year

    Sometimes i give a Kiva gift voucher although they are very USA centric and support USA colonies. I would like to support stuff in my part of the planet, like Timor, Indonesia Bali.
     
  7. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    Michaelangelica, NZ Oxfam supports stuff in our general area; PNG, Samoa etc. I imagine Oz Oxfam's the same
     

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