Hi there, it's Veronika! We're talking Christmas today.

Wouldn't it be great if Christmas would be all just "the nice and magical time" and not the rush to get all gifts, not the bins full of rubbish the day after Christmas?
For me, the worst part is to think of a gift that will be actually appreciated and won't end up wasted, binned or re-gifted (the last one may sting too but at least it's not that bad for the environment). Which means I may sometimes end up rushing a bit to get things on time. Then I get some great ideas but it seems that I won't get it before Christmas. That's stressful, right?
But isn't Christmas at the end about chilling and spending time with your most beloved ones? Be it your family, friends or perhaps your animal companions - ideally all together though =)

Yes, and for that reason, I started no-stress Christmas for me and I would very much wish you do the same. This way you can enjoy the nice things and do not have to participate in the not-so-nice and pretty stressful Christmas-related things.

Problem 1: Find out what gifts to get.
Solution: Make a list in advance and keep it at hand throughout the year to make notes whenever a gift idea for any of your recipients crosses your mind. It's useful not only for Christmas but birthdays and other occasions.

You can make the list yourself by hand or get inspired when you google gift planner templates or if that's not your cup of tea, you can buy such planners already made - I found this printable one that's already suited for both A4 or US letter which is handy - see "Printable Christmas Gift Planner" - or this editable one, that you don't have to print, which saves even the paper and ink, if you're happy to keep things online - see "Editable Christmas Gift Planner" - you can upload it on your cloud and access it from anywhere, not be worried if you forget to take the printed version with you when you actually go to do the shopping =)

Problem 2: Get all gifts in time.
Solution: Got your ideas at the last minute? Did something go wrong and you had to get new or different gifts? Are your gifts stuck on their way in the delivery queue? What a horror, right?
Not at all! When it comes to kids, we may perhaps feel a bit guilty if they won't get their gifts exactly on dot. But making kids happy is not that difficult, is it? What if you just get something small, even just some favourite sweets/snack they're perhaps not allowed get very often, and add a card with a note that more is still coming? Who wouldn't like to get more surprises? You can say the gift is so special that Santa will have to bring it later as it won't fit in his bag with other kids' gifts. You know - be creative when it comes to kids.
When your gift is not ready for your adult friends and family members, then a card with a note will do, trust me. Is it late even for the card? I've found some awesome printable cards that will make it better (or worse if you won't match the sense of humour! =) - after purchase, just download, print, add the note inside (that the gift will follow shortly) and you're ready to put something under the tree!

Printable cards to save the day (Christmas day)

I'm so incredibly thankful

HO HO HO

The best is yet to come - this card says it itself =) "Merry Christmas, your gift is on its way" is all you need to write inside then.

Problem 3: Waste, waste, waste! Packaging, wrapping, everything!
Solution: Be mindful of what you buy - just like I do with my products, many other sellers offer plastic-free packaging, that is easy to reuse, recycle and compost. Many will also offer gifts already wrapped - again, in eco-friendly wrapping. If not, you can easily use recycled paper, natural strings (like jute, sisal, cotton,...) and wrap gifts yourself the way it will be possible to reuse it later for other gifts.

If you want it to be more fancy, browse some themed wrapping paper that's still eco-friendly. For example, a very cute one, Robin and Holly recycled wrapping paper - this one states already that uses vegetable ink but keep on mind if you're looking for vegan-friendly papers with prints, check what inks they use.

Problem 4: Everything failed, I still don't know what gifts to get.
Solution: How to know your gift will be used and appreciated? Get something that everyone uses. Soap, even cleaning products,... but have it gift wrapped and give it a new meaning - like zero-waste kits or various samples of zero-waste products for everyday/weekly use. Encourage your family and friends to explore the zero-waste lifestyle. This way it will be a gift for yourself as well because you will feel much better giving sich gifts that inspire others to go more towards zero waste.
Just fill a gift box with samples of zero waste products you use or browse some zero waste sets to start with.

My eye caught a few kits from various brands - get inspired & browse more:

Zero Waste Kit by Battle Green Box - a large kit when you want someone to start big on zero waste. Even the toothbrush is zero waste and vegan-friendly - this is still quite a problem to find as I learnt recently - so I was happy to get a confirmation from the shop owner about the brush bristles - you can also find out more information in their shop.
Battle Green Box Zero Waste Kit

Zero Waste "Kitchen" starter pack by Smallkind - it's never a bad idea to get something for the kitchen, especially when it comes to changing it towards zero waste.
A special thought about the dishwashing block/soap - I'm currently testing it and will be writing a review - but I can say already I'm so much in love with it =)
Zero Waste "Kitchen" starter pack by Smallkind

Zero Waste Kit for Men by ZeroWasteShopUK - in the end, something specifically focused on men: a zero waste gift set for your dad, partner, husband or your best male friend who you think deserves some nice zero waste grooming essentials. All items in this set are suitable for vegans, too. Of course.
Zero Waste Kit for Men by ZeroWasteShopUK

These are all nice zero waste kits - either to give you an idea on what to put in your own gift set or simple tips on what to buy that's already prepared. All these and many more shops take the eco-friendliness seriously and offer solutions for various occasions. Let's support them rather than random (even if well known) brands/shops full of plastic nonsense that's meant for high consumption rate with little to no eco-responsibility.

A bonus problem: Christmas gift cards - such a waste, every year,... but everyone expects them, right?
Solution: Start a trend of travel Christmas cards. Get any Christmas card you like, ideally empty inside and write your wishing on the top left inside the card to make space for a few more wishes to be written under and on the other page as well. Whoever will get your travel Christmas card, can write their wishes under yours and gift it next year to someone else. Such a card can be reused until there's no space, the last person can keep it. Or they can have some adventure and try to trace back the original gifter and return the card, so if you're the one who sent it initially, you may see where and how much your card travelled in years! =) Even if the card doesn't make its way back to you, gifting a travel card is a great solution to waste fewer cards each year. Just wait until someone will give you a used travel Christmas card - one that you haven't started. Then you will know the less-Christmas-card-waste trend it catching on =) It will surely make you feel better about Christmas card problem =) So why not start this year?

Just make sure to write at the back of the card something like this:

"Hi, I'm a travel Christmas card. Please enjoy me, save me for next year and send me forward to someone else. Let's see where else I can travel and how many Christmas cards I can save from waste."

I bet many others will like travel Christmas cards too and will follow your steps. Let's tick off at least one Christmas problem for good and enjoy these holiday times more.

A word in the end - you may have noticed there are links to Etsy. As an Etsy affiliate, I write sometimes about their shops and products I like. This time it's themed around their Etsy Holiday Gift Guide that you can also visit for more inspiration:

Hi, it's Veronika, your vegan friend and content creator of Veronika Honestly (no, not my surname).
I'm mathemagician (making money as maths tutor! 😁), a bit of an artist (well, trying to get back to art) and also animal and adventure lover.
Get to know me on my About page and make sure you sign up for my newsletter to get my free printable greeting cards for vegans I made for everyone to use and spread the vegan word!

See you around and on my social media - stay in touch!

Thank you for reading this whole article =) I have a few things to mention here:

Firstly, if not already mentioned in the article, I would like you to know about my Honest Language Disclaimer (no, it's not about profanity) - in case you were wondering why my English is so weird and not Oxford-dictionary perfect (whose English is, anyway...)

Secondly, my post may contain affiliate links. Namely Etsy and Amazon links. If you click through and buy anything there, I will get a small commission, so you are basically helping me to reach the goals, to raise funds for animals sanctuaries. All of that at no extra cost to you or the seller. It's a win-win =)

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