Ethical living

All I want for Christmas is a…

christmas-993291_1920zero-waste, ethical gift!

I’ve been reflecting on how to celebrate Christmas in an ethical way. Mr Pilgrim and I have come up with some principles on how we would like to ‘do Christmas’ this year.

  • Put Jesus first

For us, this means reading the Nativity story with Small Boy and Little Miss, celebrating Christmas at church services, and consciously taking the time throughout Advent and Christmas to reflect on the wonder of the creator of the world becoming a baby.


  • Celebrate with family

We want to make the most of the holiday period to spend time with those whom we love.

  • Set a budget

We’ve not done this before so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes. I suspect Mr Pilgrim will need to rein in my spending!

  • Be generous to those in need

This article is well worth a read before thinking about how to give to charity at Christmas. Sometimes our giving may make us feel good but is not actually that beneficial to those we are trying to help.

Family Pilgrim will be making a financial donation to New Hope, our local homelessness charity, as well as buying a few practical items for people who are currently sleeping rough in Watford. These items (e.g. socks) have been requested by New Hope and will be distributed by their staff and volunteers. I am keen for Small Boy and Little Miss to be involved in the choosing and purchasing of these items so that they are grow up aware of the importance of social justice, generosity and compassion.

  • Buy ethically

I have some ideas for ethical gifts but since the intended recipients may be reading this, I can’t give details!

  • Avoid waste

My new-found love of visiting charity shops has resulted in a number of clandestine purchases for Small Boy and Little Miss, including a collection of Mr Men books and an unopened Playmobil bike mechanic set.

Fun Fact from Zero Waste Week:

Each charity shop saves approximately 34 tonnes of textiles from landfill annually and by reusing and recycling things that would otherwise go in the bin, these thrifty national treasures help to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 3.7million tons per year.

I’ve already written about my creative alternatives to wrapping paper: old maps and unwanted fabric tied up with biodegradable garden string. Thank you Grandpère for recommending the string!

And as for me, I am hoping for a razor made out of recycled yoghurt pots, an energy monitor (to help me reduce my carbon footprint), Lush bar soap and reusable kitchen wrap. I’d also like a sea turtle and some Cred jewellery!

The hardest thing for me is limiting myself in what I buy for Small Boy and Little Miss. Thankfully, Mr Pilgrim is very good at keeping me on track here!

And what about you? If you celebrate Christmas, is there anything you’d like to be more intentional about this year?


One thought on “All I want for Christmas is a…

  1. Last year we reduced the number of gifts our children received from Santa. We’re trying to teach them quality over quantity, as well as making Christmas less about the presents and more about spending time together as a family and giving generously to those in need. This year will be much of the same, as well as sourcing eco-friendly, sustainable gifts.


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