Before we can sign you up to the Milkwood Newsletter we need a little more information
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This iframe contains the logic required to handle Ajax powered Gravity Forms.
The Gift Tree: How to Slow Down Christmas
If Im honest, as we head towards the end of the year and the regular gift giving periodwell, I start to get a little bit nervous.
While I adore the hot weather, school holidays, early morning swims, slurping on the deliciousness of slightly green mangoes, extra time off the working week, and a generally more relaxed vibe happening around home.
Its the well-meaning gift exchanging that gets me feeling just a little edgy.
For years now, I have made the majority of our gifts to be given to others or sourced things second hand. I love doing these things, and think generally (and hope!) that these gifts are genuinely appreciated.
In turn I adore getting something handmade, well thought out and given with bundles of love, (delicious foodstuffs in particular.) If someone has gone to the trouble of making something well there is a wonderful chance Im going to love it.
However its the presents for my kids where I start getting a little toey.
I can helpfully steer well meaning relatives towards small presents of experience over stuff and something practical over battery powered plastic toys.
But still, there is that awkward breath holding on my part before something is given that continues each time.
These days most of the time it really does work out, but occasionally? Occasionally it simply doesnt and I go into an almost mourning for the gift that has been given.
Greedy and ungrateful Im sure many would whisper. But its not. Its really not.
I would rather my children look wistfully on to other kids plastic battery operated very breakable toys at this age, and know that in years to come I did the right thing not only by them, but the planet.
I refuse to give into a mainstream mentality of an armful of toy brand names. That armful of colourful plastic items is not the essentials to a happy childhood. I simply wont buy into that.
What I will buy in to, is an encouragement of soul filling experiences, and a small amount of appropriate gifts. I love handmade, I love sourcing local, I love second hand, and I love thinking outside the square.
This gift tree is hopefully a mix of all those things. Its an idea for people to use and make their own. Add to it, play with it, tweak it and best of all? Enjoy it!
A small tree or branch type thing- Ive used a couple of sticks, sitting in an old milk bottle to support it. You could also use some string and hang it up bunting style.
The idea- each piece of paper, cardboard, what ever you choose to write on is a small gift or experience. You take it off when you are going to use it. Simple eh?
This can be used at any time- holiday periods, advent, birthdays, whatever you like. Have fun getting creative.
Living in a very urban city setting as I do with our family of five, I have to make a concerted effort at times to make sure we all are connecting with nature as much as possible.
With that in mind, a gift tree can make it an easy way to get cracking with those important connections.
(My list has been made thinking of the tastes of my three kids 8 yrs old and under.)
Special planting session- blueberries are a favourite in this household
One on one time to watch the sunrise/sunset
Competition to see who can get the grubbiest
Dance off- who doesnt like a good dance off?
Face painting- let them do you as well
The possibilities are pretty much magically endless. Now tell me, what would you put on your tree?
Your guest writer today is Brydie Piaf home baker, maker, blogger, photographer and wrangler of small people. Brydie blogs atCityHippyFarmGirl.
Hey also, a note that here at Milkwood we dogreat Gift Certificates! An awesome idea to add to the above gift tree (mushroom growing or beekeeping course, anyone?)
Read MorePreparing a new Garden Bed with Double DiggingWelcome to our new series on permaculture renting, in which we at . .
Read MoreMaking a DIY clip-together Bathtub Aquaponics SystemThink making your own aquaponics setup would be too hard and cost . .
Read MoreComments11 responses to The Gift Tree: How to Slow Down ChristmasKarensays:November 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm
I have always loved this idea and tried it a couple of years.
So what do you suggest would be a good gift tree gift for an 18yr old boy/man?
My kids love that special time one on one too.
Karen my suggestion for your 18yo son would be pay for a membership he needs ie auto club or registration for his car or movie tickets / music downloads with iTunes. No clutter and nothing to get lost!
Karen, Ive been sitting on this and trying to think. What about- a cooking class somewhere, a day away together, bushwalking tripor Milkwood Gift Certificate (cant go wrong there!)
Thanks Kellie and Brydie! Both of you have made very relevant suggestions and I like them all. Think I will go with the Cooking Class and Auto membership. We do go on short trips together and this Christmas I am taking all the kids (four of them) caving in the beautiful Blue Mountains. Have a wonderful Christmas.
Dear Brydie wonderful post I too share your thoughts and this is a great idea for giving : )
For what its worth my kids were not indulged with material things when they were young, doing things and experiences yes, and my 32 year old this week said how grateful he is for the non-commercial values that were instilled in him. I was so touched by that.
Love this post BrydieI couldnt agree more with your words x
What a wonderful idea. Will do this though for my daughter. I handmake a lot of my gifts mainly for the parents and siblings though. This year Im fillling homemmade wooden crates full of homemade produce.
What a brilliant idea. I know my kids will still get bags of toys from other people so I have no concern that theyll feel like theyre missing out, and we still get the big one from Santa. Weve also done 25 wrapped up picture books from the book shelf for an Advent calendar. And you can use and reuse fabric if all the wrapping paper gives you the heebie geebies.
Love that idea of the wrapped books for advent. Thats brilliant.
You must belogged into post a comment.
Join us for 2 days of permaculture design theory and action. You will leave this course with a solid grounding of how you can apply permaculture principles in your home, garden, or farm.
Join Peter McCoy for a weekend of radical mycology: designing with fungi in permaculture projects – cultivation, mycoremediation, medicine, resilience and more.
Join us for a Street Farming masterclass on how to make urban farms happen, with Michael Ableman of Sole Food Farms. Practical strategies, design and the nuts-and-bolts of growing serious amounts of fresh food in our cities
Join us for a Street Farming masterclass on how to make urban farms happen, with Michael Ableman of Sole Food Farms. Practical strategies, design and the nuts-and-bolts of growing serious amounts of fresh food in our cities.
Ready to get serious about vegetable growing in your backyard using organic techniques? Heres two days of expert knowledge to get you growing.
Join us for a regular dose of inspiration + new ideas to grow, make and design. And the occasional amazing giveaway, because Milkwood newsletter subscribers rock… (no spam, not ever)
Unless otherwise stated above all content © Milkwood Trading Pty Ltd ABN: 95 159 276 669. All prices are in Australian Dollars (AUD) Report websi
te errors toWilling Web