After the inescapable Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and now entering the realm of 24-hour Christmas shopping and Boxing Day, we're both repelled and compelled by the madness.
As a small-business we live and breathe the dichotomy of making sales whilst advocating conscious consumerism.
Though we have considered skipping the excess of Christmas from a philosophical perspective, we also love the joy of giving and - admittedly - receiving. Watching your partner open a gift you’ve mulled over for months... Seeing your grandmother's face as you open the tropical-scented candle she especially chose for you...
So how do we create a balance? Surely there’s an alternative to the unnecessary knick-knacks and plastic-fantastic stocking stuffers that will just end up in landfill.
We share 3 tips to simplify this Christmas
1. Give experiences
A gift needn’t be something physical. In this day and age of instant gratification and accessibility, purchasing gifts is increasingly difficult as we are all ‘the person who has everything’.
We are all ‘the person who has everything’.
This year’s Plyroom Christmas party is a cooking class at Free to Feed - a not-for-profit social enterprise that helps refugees and asylum seekers in developing their skills in expressing themselves and their stories. Experiences are immersive, more memorable and, best of all, won’t end up in landfill or floating around in The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Why not gift a yoga membership, pottery class or choose to donate through a charity of your loved one’s choice?
2. Choose ethically
All year round, we advocate for conscious consumerism. Purchasing from local producers, sourcing ethically manufactured products or investing in well-made pieces that are designed to live on long after the silly season are important to us.
...invest in well-made pieces that are designed to live on long after the silly season.
We have recently launched our Gift Guide which features handmade home goods, Melbourne-made modern bedroom storage pieces and our minimalist furniture which uses FSC Certified timber and natural wax finishes. Each piece, large and small, is designed for longevity – by way of durable craftsmanship or its treasurable nature.
Discover beautiful hand-crafted linen floor and bed cushions, locally crafted Asobimasu ceramics, luscious bedroom gowns and publications from the likes of Brooke McAlary of the Slow Home Podcast on the Gift Guide here. These unique presents are for the special people in your life and each are designed to last a lifetime (well after the rumballs are eaten).
3. Stress less and simplify
There’s a tendency for extravagance when it comes to Christmas lunches and dinners. A cheese platter. Five Ottolenghi salads. Fresh prawns. Two roasts. Don’t forget the pavlova, pecan pie, cinnamon biscuits, and rumballs (oh, the list goes on…). Simplify your menu, delegate the workload, choose humble but impactful table settings and bask in the good company rather than stress.
As Nicolle Sullivan of Cultiver Linen shared in our Escapism Zine -
‘In order to make your guests feel special, you do not have to be cooking and cleaning for days.’
She continues... ‘Candles will make you home look and smell beautiful. Supermarket flowers (or leaves from the garden) can look pretty if separated into small glasses and arranged down the centre of the table (better for conversation also). A linen tablecloth and napkins look like you’ve made an effort and give your guests a sense of occasion as they enjoy the tactile weight in their lap during the meal.
Think beyond a 3 course dinner: the same enjoyment can be had over brunch, wine and cheese on a midwinter Sunday afternoon, or a kitchen bench dinner of individual pies picked up at the deli, with a pretty salad, and berries with whipped cream or ice cream for dessert - a dinner that can be easily collected on the way home from work and on the table in moments.’