Christmas can be a magical time of year, but, for some, it’s also one of the most stressful – and there’s nothing quite like having to do a last-minute panic shop.

It can often feel a bit much, so here are some tips on how we can try and make sure last-minute decisions and needs don’t cost the planet, our sanity … or our wallets.

  • Avoid buying things for the sake of it

Easier said than done, but a pretty straightforward thing to do is simply not rush out and buy stuff for the sake of it.

It can be tempting to look at the pile of presents or food you’ve already bought and think it’s not enough, but are those extra little gifts and treats really wanted or needed? Probably not. Chances are, friends and family will be happy with what you’ve already got and there’s plenty of food. Anything else is just excess or waste.

  • Rustle up some easy gifts 

If you totally forgot someone on the list, or you really do want to pad out the stockings, try rustling up some easy-to-make foodie gifts.

chocolate fudge image

It doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming; in fact, this quick fudge recipe will take you a total of three minutes! It’s a great way to gift something a little more personal without stretching the purse strings.

  • Skip the plastic wrap

Now, it’s the night before Christmas and you’ve got presents to wrap – so, a quick dash to the shop and you’ve got a bundle of wrapping paper to get you through. Does this sound familiar?

Unfortunately, most wrapping paper (especially the shiny paper) is coated in a plastic film, which makes them completely unrecyclable.

Save time and waste by using old newspapers and magazines for wrapping, or have a go at the beautiful Japanese art of furoshiki using scrap cloth for wrapping instead. We promise it’s easier than you think. Check out Plastic Free PZ’s accounts for a demonstration.

  • Save time shopping and give time

One of the most precious gifts we can give to people is our time. Whether it’s seeing a neighbour you know may be feeling a little low or lonely this Christmas, or getting in touch with those loved ones you haven’t seen for a while, those minutes spent together can be the most rewarding ones of the year.

It doesn’t have to cost anything, either. Head out into nature together and reconnect with the elements – it’s easy to close ourselves away when the weather is colder, but there’s still plenty of beauty to be seen.

  • It isn’t about consumerism

Christmas is a highly commercialised holiday, so it’s important to remember it isn’t actually about consumerism.

Think about it and you may realise some of your favourite things about Christmas are things like spending time with friends and family, laughing over shared food, getting out in nature and embracing happiness in the small things, at what’s often the coldest and darkest time of year.

It can be a tough time of year, as well as an amazing one. Reconnecting with what it truly means to celebrate Christmas with those you care about, others in the community or by honouring nature and the seasons, is the essence of keeping it sane and real.

We wish you a gorgeous time, however that looks to you.

For more sustainability tips this Christmas, keep an eye on our blog and social channels (just click on Facebook and Instagram).