This year I am all over Christmas. Some years it feels like the Halloween decorations are barely removed before it’s time to schlep back down to the basement for boxes of Christmas cheer. This year it’s on like Donkey Kong. The tree is up. The ceremonial Santa shaped cookie jar is on the kitchen counter. The outdoor lights are untangled and ready for stringing. It’s going all Yuletide cheer up in here.
Along with the twinkly lights, warm memories and fa la la la las, I must admit I am not immune to the relentless drive to buy new stuff for the holidays. Everywhere you go Christmas is being shoved merrily in your face. Do you have the right colour scheme for the tree? Will your family dinner be ruined by subpar napkin rings? How will people know you’re festive without a giant inflatable igloo on the front lawn? Everything is encrusted with glitter and the deep nagging fear that you might ruin the holiday if everything isn’t perfect.
The peer pressure is bad but worse is the waste that comes with the modern holiday season. In our desire to be abundant with food and decoration and gifts, we also spend on things we don’t really appreciate. Most decoration is obviously unneeded, and much of it is of such crappy quality it will end up in a landfill after a season or two. I hate the idea of all the shiny baubles in the stores that will be garbage by the New Year. I love Christmas and I want to be a big goof about enjoying it, but every year I become more thoughtful about what I spend and what comes into my home.
In an effort to be both a Santa with cheer but a Scrooge with waste, this year my Christmas preparations will be based on the three Rs – Reduce Reuse and Recycle. The first R is the most important so instead of buying new poor quality items, I will reduce what I buy and invest in one or two decorations that will stand the test of time. Antique and vintage decorations are ideal for lasting appeal and festive cheer. With a little effort and education anyone can find classic ornaments that will fit their budget and stay in their family for years. Antiques can also be reused and recycled to suit the holiday season. Items like antique sleighs, nutcrackers and cut glass table wear look festive and bring an authentic sense of nostalgia to the season.
Over the next month I will write about my ideas for a cheerful and environmentally sustainable vintage Christmas. It will be very festive. By January I won’t even want to see tinsel but that’s okay. It only happens once a year and I love the holiday season. All comments and advice are welcome so if you have any please share!
Image courtesy VintageHolidayCrafts.com