The celebration of the birth of our Savior is just around the corner. The ‘most beautiful time of the year’ can easily become the most excessive and hurried if we aren’t careful. This year, let’s take this time to care for our neighbors, our communities and our Sacred Earth as we set our hearts and minds of love Himself.
Here is the Root & Vine Creation Care advent calendar of tips of how to include stewardship in your Christmas planning – don’t worry you can follow us on Instagram for a little reminder every day in Advent.
Plant Seeds of Joy: Connect this Christmas with Recyclable or Seed Cards
Holiday cards have sentimental value but traditionally use a whole lot of trees to make them. For that reason, many companies are making their cards from recycled paper and other plastic-free materials. Some are going the extra mile to offset their carbon footprint by planting a tree for every card, or even planting seeds inside compostable cardstock so you can watch something beautiful grow out of your card. Here are some Christmas cards to connect the Eco-Friendly Way.
Nature’s Wreath: A Wreath is a Festive Way to Celebrate the Joy of Christmas. Save Money by Making One With Nature
A wreath is a festive way to express the joy of the holidays, especially on the front door. Instead of purchasing one from a store that generates a lot of waste to produce, try making your own with elements you harvest from nature. Take a walk in the woods or in your backyard and gather only what you need to fashion your wreath. This tutorial gives helpful tricks and ideas for putting together your wreath with elements gathered from your everyday surroundings.
Sustainable Shopping: Make a List. Check it Twice. And Grab A Reusable Bag
You have your shopping list, and you’re checking it twice. But with all the goods you’re going to be stocking up on, why not try and reduce the amount of plastic and paper bags with some reusable shopping bags? This is the kind of gift that will be giving long past the holiday season. Keep them in your vehicle for easy access when you’re heading to the store. Here are some of our favorite bags that not only support sustainability but look nice doing so.
Keep it Natural: Rethink Decorations. Ditch the Plastic & Make Something Natural
Challenge yourself to think outside the box when it comes to decor. Take a look around your home and maybe your garden for inspiration. Head to the pantry to string some popcorn and make your own garland for the tree or the mantle. Pick some foliage from nature and make a bouquet or centerpieces. Make garlands or ornaments from dried citrus.
Shine Bright: Light the Night with Savings & Stewardship. Switch to LED Christmas Lights
Did you know LED lights consume 80% less energy? Switching your Christmas lights with LED options will not only save you money on your energy bill but will help you utilize energy more sustainably to make your holidays shine bright.
Wrapped in Stewardship: Wrap This Year’s Gifts in Love & Sustainability. Use Recyclable Wrapping Paper or Get Creative with Newspaper & Fabric
Before you grab yet another roll of half-priced wrapping paper from the end of the grocery aisle this Christmas, consider how you might wrap those hand-picked gifts with a more personal, sustainable touch. Here are some creative ways you can show your love to family and friends and the planet, too. Some options include reusable gift bags, newspaper, saving bows or ribbon, or opt for recyclable store wrapping paper.
Buying Small Business: Give Love to Your Community. Shop Local for Unique Finds, Freshness and Local Economic Impact
While the big box stores and online sellers scramble to meet demands and navigate shipping delays, your local shops have connections with their own vendors, often locals themselves, your investment blesses your local community and they offer unique gifts you can’t find anywhere else.
Crafty Christmas: By My Hands I Give Thee Love. Making a Gift is Personal, Heartfelt and a Great Way to Get Kids Involved in Giving Love to Others
Getting the kids involved with crafts is a great way to keep them busy and to make some great gifts made with love for those in your life. Check here for more inspiration such as gnome ornaments and decor, candle holders, and more.
Birds of The Air: Hang Seed Balls or Peanut Strings from a Tree for Your Favorite Feathery Friends
Gather the family for a joyous activity: crafting bird feeders for our winged neighbors. Coat pine cones with peanut butter and roll them in seeds, or create seed balls, popcorn garlands, or peanut strings. It’s a simple, fun way to share the holiday spirit with the birds and introduce kids to the wonders of nature. If your kids are less familiar with birds, this may be a fun opportunity to identify some of the local birds as well!
Adventuring with Stewardship: Make a Commitment to Pack Creation Care in Your Holiday Travel
If you’re heading away from home this Christmas, don’t forget to pack your commitment to creation care. All it takes is a little extra effort, a dusting of mindfulness, and acknowledging that we’re all a part of a great big world community that relies on each other to care for one another… even when we’re on the go. Here are a few ways you can make your holiday travel a little more earth-friendly.
Light With Love: Give Your Festivities A Warm Glow. Try Soy or Beeswax Candles
Infuse your holiday space with the warm glow of conscious choices. Opt for beeswax or soy candles to illuminate your festivities, adding a touch of natural charm to your celebrations. Whether it’s the subtle sweetness of beeswax or the renewable radiance of soy, each flicker represents a simple yet impactful step towards responsible living. Let today be a reminder that even in the midst of holiday joy, our choices can shine a light on sustainability.
Dashing Through The Great Outdoors: Take a festive walk outside
Step into the serene embrace of nature for a refreshing and contemplative walk. Amidst the holiday hustle, take a moment to appreciate the quiet beauty that surrounds us. Feel the crisp air, listen to the rustle of leaves, and observe the intricate details of the world around you. Nature’s gift of tranquility awaits, offering a serene pause amid the festive season. Embrace the simplicity of a walk and find joy in the creation that envelops us.
Green Leaves: Earth-Friendly & Cute. Add to the Jolly by Adopting a Houseplant and Using it as a Christmas Tree
Consider adopting a new tradition by bringing a houseplant into your home as a sustainable Christmas tree alternative. Choose a resilient plant that can double as a festive centerpiece during the holidays and continue to thrive all year long. This eco-friendly choice not only preserves trees but also adds a touch of green to your space that lasts well beyond the holiday season. Embrace the joy of nurturing a living symbol of creation and sustainability.
Nifty Thrifting: Thrift Items to Use as Ornaments
Embark on a unique and thrifty holiday adventure! Visit a thrift store to discover a treasure trove of eclectic items that can be repurposed into charming Christmas tree ornaments. From vintage trinkets to quirky finds, each item tells a story and adds a touch of personality to your festive decor. Embrace the joy of creativity and sustainable decorating by giving new life to pre-loved items. Check out this DIY vintage handkerchief ornament tutorial for some inspiration.
Heartfelt Gifting: Get Creative to Give New Life to an Old Treasure
Here are some alternative gift ideas that are sure to make a Christmas morning to remember. Thrift, pass on, re-gift, upcycle a gift, or give an experience. Considered giving tickets or a subscription service? Or have something that you own that would be heartfelt to pass along? Get creative to give new excitement to this year’s giving.
Feast in Stewardship: Participate in Well-Being For Yourself & Creation. Get Started with Meatless Monday
Get started with meatless Monday. Participate in a form of stewardship by embracing Meatless Monday. Opting for plant-based meals on this day is a mindful choice that reduces your carbon footprint, lessens environmental impact, and contributes to the well-being of both creation and yourself. These small steps in our choices have the potential to become powerful acts of caring for creation and being good stewards. Find some meatless recipe inspiration for the whole family to get Meatless Monday rolling.
Be Generous With Stewardship in Mind: Bless a Cause They Care About Instead of a Gift. Consider Donating to a Favorite Charity in Their Name
If your extended family traditionally exchanges gifts, this year, you could donate to that person’s favorite charity in their name, blessing a cause they care about. The Salvation Army, The Prison Fellowship, Toys for Tots, Heifer International, and other charities help families in need around the world. Incorporating some kind of giving opportunity year-round but especially at the holidays will help develop a sense of awareness and gratitude in your family’s life. You’ll likely be surprised: Children often have more generous spirits and can teach us a lot about the pleasure of giving rather than receiving.
Gift An Experience: Give Memories This Year
Make this Christmas memorable in ways that stretch the imagination. Shared experiences deliver entertainment and lasting memories that strengthen the bond between you and your loved ones. Consider gifting a local or online painting or cooking class, tickets, plan a visit to a state park or national park, a season pass or membership to a local museum or zoo or a subscription to a subscription service like a book of the month club for children. Perhaps this will be the most memorable Christmas yet.
Ahhh – Now That’s The Sound of A Great Gift: Reduce Impact & Stand the Test of Time. Consider Battery Free Gifts & Embrace the Simplicity of Eco-Gifting
Consider the joy of giving battery-free gifts. By choosing items that don’t require batteries, you’re not only simplifying the gift-giving process but also promoting sustainability and reducing environmental impact. Battery-free gifts often stand the test of time, fostering a sense of connection and longevity in the joy they bring. Embrace the simplicity and eco-friendly spirit of battery-free giving this holiday season, making your presents a thoughtful contribution to a more sustainable and mindful celebration.
Scraps Are in the Eye of the Beholder: Holiday Preparations with Stewardardship in Mind. Reduce Food Waste by Planning Meals Purposefully & Using Leftovers Creatively
Weave the spirit of creation care into your holiday preparations by embracing practices that reduce food waste. Amid festive abundance, exercise stewardship by planning meals mindfully, repurposing leftovers creatively, and composting organic waste. By adopting these sustainable habits, you not only contribute to a healthier environment but also extend the celebration of flavors and joy throughout the season. Let your holiday table become a symbol of both abundance and responsible stewardship.
Creation Care is on Trend: Let Your Holiday Style Reflect Your Commitment to Care. Think About Your Outfit
Let your holiday style reflect a commitment to sustainability. Choose outfits that align with creation care by opting for clothing made from eco-friendly materials. Consider second-hand or vintage pieces that bring a unique charm while reducing environmental impact. Embrace versatility by styling items you already own in new combinations, creating fresh looks without the need for additional purchases. By making mindful choices in your holiday wardrobe, you not only express your style but also contribute to a more sustainable and conscientious celebration.
Love Local & Legacy: Plan Your Holiday Feast With Food from Stores that Benefit Local Businesses and Farms
Infuse your holiday feasts with a spirit of support for local businesses and farms. Choose to source your ingredients from nearby stores, creating a connection between your festive table and the community. By opting for local produce and goods, you not only contribute to the success of small businesses but also promote sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transport. Celebrate the season by nurturing a sense of community, savoring flavors that tell a local story, and making a positive impact on both your holiday feast and the businesses that make it possible.
May this Advent season of reverence and anticipation allow us to take time to care for our neighbors, our communities and our Sacred Earth as we set our hearts towards greater love.