I love Christmas and gift giving but I hate waste and our throw away culture. So I've put together some tips as well as links to some of the business I love and admire to help you have a more sustainable and less wasteful Christmas time.
Small businesses to support this Christmas
I've put together 10 of my personal favourites and small business buddies in a handy list for you, for all ages. Take a look!
Beautiful hand made clothes for babies and children, made right here in brilliant Bristol using the best organic cotton on the market! Clever designs that will grow with your little one as they get bigger.
Need something for mum? Latched has the comfiest maternity sportswear that you won't want to take off, long, long, long after baby arrives.
Fabulous toys perfect for sensory adventures and will become firm favourites in your every day play. Nesting babies, woodlies and stackers all part of their collection that will be loved throughout all of the early years.
Looking for toys to suit small spaces and big imaginations? Toys that will become heirlooms and help ditch the sea of plastic? Little Stories are one of our favourites for beautiful wooden toys.
Awesome book subscriptions including a new range for older readers. Thoughtfully curated boxes to inspire a love of reading from those all important early years. Gifts that will last all year.
If you'd like a gift tailored to your baby's development stage then The Little Sensory box has lovely subscription boxes that will help you make the most of your play.
Shop in store or online for an amazing range of sustainable and planet friendly gifts for all ages. The sort of place that you could easily spend on things that will last a lifetime. Pssst they also have a beautiful range of curated baby gift boxes!
Local to me here in Bristol, the most beautiful ethical gift shop you ever did see! And if you're not close to Bristol, you can shop online, hurrah! Curated from around the world, Helen has the best eye for sustainable design. We love their motto "Give back, feel good".
Learning and play resources
A plethora of amazing resources to help you build play, learning and confidence at home. From phonics to maths to outdoor activity cards, there's literally something for everyone at Play Makes Sense!
The magical Claire from Play Hooray has an amazing online community full of tips, tricks and guides on how to play everyday in easy and achievable ways. A hub membership would make an awesome gift for any parent.
Tips for how to keep Christmas low key and low cost
Firstly, try not to get sucked into the 'everyone else is getting it/it's on trend/need instagrammable photos' trap! Young children don't need quantity, they need a few things that feel* new and some quality time with you.
*notice I said "feel new" thats because you could easily squirrel away toys they've barely touched and totally forgotten about and wrap them up for Christmas.
If you're trying to keep the gift lists focused then we love this little saying, it can really help cut down on unwanted clutter and help family members gift something you and your child will use and want...
"Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read"
Here's some other thought starters to help you out of a rut
| Gifts that will last
Wooden toys, books, essential clothing like wellies and coats, art supplies, activity books,
|Gifts that keep giving
Subscriptions to craft boxes, sensory boxes, book boxes or magazines, memberships to local attractions or online communities.
|Gifts that only cost you time
Download and print a bunch of our Wild Play activities (great stocking fillers!) a photo slideshow of the year or a special occasion, a jar of ideas for things to do in the coming year, vouchers for a special tea, extra screen time or getting to stay up late (you can put anything at all in a voucher) write a poem or a short story to share, bake some cookies or other festive treats.
Want to make your purchases from the circular economy?
Last year I bought nearly all of the kids gifts from second hand sources. Be it charity shops or online I love nothing more than giving something a new home, saving £££ whilst also saving items from landfill.
Did you know that Vinted
doesn't just sell clothes? You can find everything on there from toys to books to household wares and is 100% my go to. We also love The Octopus Club
if you have babies and small children as you can find literally everything on there from buggies to breast pads. Facebook marketplace
is also a great one to find larger items that are tricky to ship as you can pick up from your local area.
If you're buying second hand, make sure it is from a reputable site, check the price new (just so you're definitely making a saving) and think if you need the item to be under warranty or not (worth considering for more expensive electrical items) If you love popping in to you local charity shops, start early and check back often as many people will have a clear out on the run up to Christmas and the selection on offer will change regularly.
Do you have any other tips you'd like to add? Drop us a message and we'll pop it in to our guide.
Wishing you a sustainable, eco friendly and stress free festive celebration!