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Jingle (sustainable) bells

I come from a family that doesn’t take Christmas seriously enough by most people’s standards. Every so often, though, the Yuletide spirit comes upon us.

This year is one of those. We have a family Christmas picnic (at the same place as we had the Jamhuri Day picnic) and Yours Truly even has gifts wrapped.

This time, the concern is how to make the celebrations & gift-giving a) inexpensive b) sustainable. The first is an ongoing issue, the second has risen in prominence under the influence of Roo (who even started a Green Living group on Facebook) and it’s made for interesting choices.

This year I have:

* Been allowed to use wrapping paper by a friend who had a lot. No need to buy more.
*Used brown paper (what we’d use to cover exercise books when I was younger) to wrap gifts and then drawn on it to make it special. It makes for a unique gift wrap and it can be re-used.
*Used cloth ribbon sans wrapping paper. At Ksh 20/- per metre at Atul’s on Biashara Street, it costs more I’d spend at Walibhai Karim (12/- for the sort you’d see on cake) but you can re-use it for a host of things (or to wrap a gift!).
*These thoughts on food: the goal this year is to make simple, low-stress meals with fruits featuring prominently in the offering so we spend less time slaving over stoves cooking and more enjoying time with each other.

As with Jamhuri Day, the location is free and we’ll generate very little by way of trash. What we will leave behind will be biodegradable (peels, essentially) and all the dishes used will go home.

I hope you have a restful, enjoyable, and hopefully sustainable, Christmas. I’ll give you an update in the new year about how all these plans pan out.

[Some context: On my way to town today, Larry Asego was talking about gift giving over Christmas and before then my Mum and I had been talking about simple living.]

#CuminWrites366, my year-long attempt to write a post a day. Find the rest over at readability.com/cuminwrites/

Questions, comments, suggestions or Christmas tales? Send them to cuminwrites@gmail.com

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