Cousin love and stories shared at our regular second hand book shop hang out.

A Christmas Cherished 

I’ve been spurred on to write this post after seeing CONSUMERISM blow up on advent calendars for kids over the past couple of  years.  There’s lego, there’s playmobil and there’s a thousand more choices.  Is it all making childhoods better and adults less stressed?
I don’t buy into ANY pressure parents face to create some sort of movie magic advent in their homes in the lead up to the ‘BIG day’.  I just save it for Christmas day itself to be honest!
party table setting with candle light

A very special Christmas themed party

Cost, Plastic and a whole load of unnecessary crap

I was in a big supermarket the other day and they have Frozen jewellery advent calendars for £24 each.  £24 is a lot of money and in my opinion a completely unnecessary spend in the lead up to Christmas.
Now… I’m sure little girls will love these but I know the jewellery will be naff quality and that’s just the start of their ‘throw away’ impact on the planet.
We went to see Frozen Two at the cinema yesterday and it’s cost £6,75 each and we each got a free cardboard advent calendar and a warm glow of having a ball spending time together.
We’ve also got plans to make our Christmas tags from cardboard luggage tags and stamps, bake gingerbread and make shower sugar scrubs.  There are so many ways to be creatively conscious with your activities and spends in the run up to Christmas…

How we do our ‘low waste’ run up to Christmas. 

L has a wooden calendar we bring out each year and fill with either chocolate coins, pound coins or other small bits… The plastic is minimal and that’s the key… it is HARD to be completely zero waste but it’s easy to be low waste!

Cosy snuggles in Barter Books in second hand togs

Christmas Countdown in children’s books… 

We also leave a book for our son each Sunday morning when he wakes up in advent…it’s joyous and he really gets excited for morning times. Not that he needs any encouragement – he’s like me and loves the mornings!!
Here’s what we’ve got (all either gifted, from our local second hand book shop, Barter Books or ones we’ve had for a while including one that’s 38 years old)

Barter Books – never tire of these aisles

I might get a new (second hand) books this year or just repeat some of his favourites.

BIG news flash – BE KIND TO YOURSELF IN ADVENT – You don’t need 24 books to do book advent all tied with brown paper and string do you?  With a sprinkle of creativity and using what you have you can create the most magical of bedtime story environments.

Here’s what I have so far.

Rural train journeys with one of our fave advent books

  1. The Polar Express – we have plans to visit Seven Stories for their Polar Express Story Time this year… watch this space and remember “the bell still rings for those who believe”  (*)
  2. White
  3. The Dinosaur who pooed Christmas – I find this book SO gross but L loves it.
  4. The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson – we read this all year round but I always keep a copy handy at Christmas.
  5. The Gruffalo’s Child.
  6. Stick Man…
  7. Lost and Found – Oliver Jeffers.
  8. The Grinch – Dr Seuss.
  9. Bumper Book of Christmas Stories (we pick this up a few times during advent as there are so many to choose from).
  10. Mog’s Christmas – Judith Kerr.
  11. Blue.
  12. Little Miss Christmas /Mr Christmas – someone bought these for me as a funny present so they are in the pile!
  13. Elf on the Shelf book – much fun spotting all the little elves but we are not an elf on the shelf family!
  14. The Snowman – (I’ve also bought The Snowman Tonie Box character to suprise L with this year probably the week before Christmas)

And of course on Christmas eve it’s non other than;

The Night Before Christmas – continuing tradition from our childhoods and reading our copy of this book to L on Christmas Eve.

What about you? What are your advent plans?  Counting down the days with chocolate, elf on the shelf, I’d love to know…
And if you’ve got any low waste Christmas tips I’m all ears!!
The night before Christmas illustration of children sleeping

My 38 year old copy of ‘The Night Before Christmas’

Claire x
PS – find me on instagram; @creatively.conscious
PPS – Here’s even more books to tempt you in a list from Waterstones. 
PPS – You might also like to discover what I was writing about for Christmas two years ago here and here.
(*) Book gifted from Andersen Press – paid for partnership