Yes, yes, I know everyone really wants a White Christmas, but after 25 years of them you start to long for warmer climates. My little family is currently preparing for a move south to go to school where the temperature is a balmy 60 degrees, so we are currently dreaming of green Christmases.
But there are other ways to make your Christmas a little “greener” and no, global warming is not the answer.
LED vs. incandescent Christmas lights
Did you know that LED Christmas lights use up to 95% less energy than traditional bulbs? It’s true! So why hasn’t everyone switched over yet? There are several reasons.
–First of all, the price. LED lights are still significantly more expensive, although the prices have dropped in recent years and may continue to do so. Besides, LED lights last longer so it might be worth investing a little more.
–Second, a lot of people don’t like the look of LED lights. They are blindingly bright and their white is more of a frostly blue instead of the warm welcoming yellow of incandescent lights. Well, that problem has been addressed by manufacturers as well! There are now “warm white” LED lights available in some stores and online. They are still blinding, but isn’t that what you want on your quest to keep up with the Griswold’s?
Other pros include:
-Mulitple strands can be strung together, which is nice when outlets are few and far between or when one uses hundreds of lights
-It has no glass cover or filament to break.
-The cool LED bulb is safer than a standard bulb that can get quite warm.
(check out the comparison and even prices here)
Homemade vs. Store Bought Presents
There are a lot of “environmentally friendly ” Christmas presents you could buy at the store and you’re more than welcome to if you happen to be able to afford it. But why not go green and save yourself some money at the same time?
Regifting: it’s not impolite, it’s smart! Your Great Aunt Tess, bless her heart, gave you a cookie jar last year that you will never use. Instead of throwing it out, fill it with cookies and give it to someone else! (Just make sure it’s not your Great Aunt Tess).
Upcycling: Open up your closet. See all those clothes that just don’t fit right or are out of style? You never wear them anymore. That stretched out sweater could become a dress for your niece. Or you could recut that old shirt and add some flare for your sister! For more ideas, check out our craft and project posts here!
Be Thrifty: Thrift stores are a great place to find unique gifts. You can also find fun and cheap ways to package goodies- decorative tins, wicker baskets, sewing/craft boxes- at a fraction of their original prices and you’re giving new life to old things!
Service Gifts: Instead of giving objects, give someone an experience or a gift card- a night out at the movies, free babysitting, tickets to an event, gift card for a massage…- this is a fun idea to do within the family as well, especially for mom- do someone else’s laundry for a week, mop the kitchen floor, breakfast in bed, free makeover, etc. Be creative!
Recycled Decorations and Wrapping Paper
Instead of buying new decorations, buy used at a thrift store or make your own. Paper chains can be made from magazines or old calenders and Christmas tree decorations from salt dough. Trim your tree with a string of popcorn and cranberries. You can pick up pine cones from the neighborhood and set up festive Christmas cards from friends to deck your halls. Kids love making decorations. Include the whole family!
Wrapping paper can come from anywhere. Newspapers, magazine pages, old calenders, paper bags….I’ve even received gifts wrapped in fabric- which was also part of the gift. if you do buy wrapping paper tie it with ribbons instead of using tape so the paper can be used again. I also like to save gift bags and tissue paper that my presents come in.
If you want to read more, check out the book, Green Christmas!