Christmas always feels like a tricky time to be green, lots of presents to find and collect, food to prepare, travelling all over the place and all that wrapping paper and lighting. Each Christmas I try to remember all my good habits from the rest of the year, and stick to them. Recycling (both wrapping paper and rubbish), buying local and not buying things that will just be thrown away soon. But most of this takes some pre-planning and organisation; like remembering to wrap presents with paper than can be recycled (and hinting to family that you'd like to receive gifts that are wrapped similarly) or ordering those extra few things from the veg box. I'm really quite lucky as my nearest and dearest are all very green too. So using last years paper (whether it's been carefully ironed flat first or not) is common practice and staying at my parents for Christmas means I can sit back and relax knowing they've already ordered the local turkey and the organic veg box.
Like last year, I've tried hard to make my present giving green. I've had nowhere near enough time to make handmade gifts for everyone (and also my craft skills are not great enough to create presents that would impress or please everyone either) but I have made some. Friends got home-made festive candles in red mugs (the mugs can be reused as normal mugs once the candles have gone) and a pot of bulbs already growing to give a nice splash of colour and life in the first few months on the new year. I've also received a present of home-made gingerbread biscuits which is always a brilliant gift and another friend made me a jewelry hanger out of lace and a large picture frame, both useful and very pretty.
If home-made isn't your style you can go for eco-friendly, like the grow-your-own-fruits kit I received this year or the mushroom kit I gave in a previous year. Or maybe buy your normal gifts, but from a charity. Maybe Fairtrade earrings from Oxfam or some singing birds from the RSPB. This means your loved ones get something professionally made that they love, but also you're doing some good for someone else too. You could take it one step further and buy one of the "buy a goat" gifts for someone, whether it's sponsoring a polar bear, giving a charity gift membership or donating the equivalent of a new goat to a project where they help local people develop their agriculture system. I get a few of these each year and although it's always nice to receive physical gifts too, the knowledge that someone's put their money into a fantastically worthwhile project on your behalf is lovely.
Sometimes though none of these options quite work for that particular person or that particular present which would be just perfect. For all those other presents I try to make sure I get things that will last, and that will bring lasting enjoyment. Books are good for a lot of people in my family, I try to look for ones that have FSC paper but in reality it doesn't always happen. Whatever you're giving, and receiving, today enjoy it and enjoy your day;