It’s crept upon us rather quickly – and whether you love or loathe Christmas, we’ve come up with some ways to help you celebrate with organic produce, fair trade gifts, arts & culture to help you survive the season and welcome in the new year.
Eat, give & be merry
What goes into your traditional Christmas meal? Including drinks and side dishes, there are dozens of elements to the most glutinous, belt-busting display of over-eating. For many people, the centrepiece is the customary turkey, and organic suppliers such as Peelham Farm ensure that meat has been prepared as responsibly as possible. For vegetarian and vegan diners, organic supermarkets such as HisBe, Betterfood and Unicorn can be a one stop show for all of your fare. The Soil Association also has a veg-box delivery locator tool, which allows you to find the nearest suppliers which deliver to your post-code.
Christmas is undeniably a time to loosen the purse strings, but there are some alternative gift ideas to help you get thinking and find a gift which has extra meaning.
Fair Trade is one way to make sure that all of your yuletide gifts have been made by people who have been paid fairly for their craft. Supporting fair trade has become even easier, and our customers Cafe Direct, Ganesha, Zaytoun and Cottswolds Fudge Company all ensure fairness throughout their supply chain.
Whilst it’s very easy to be dozy-eyed and slumped in front of the television this winter, you can also get out and support the arts and see the countryside.
If Downton Abbey or re-runs of The Vicar of Dibley don’t entice you, The Trinity Arts Centre in Bristol is welcoming The Bristol Bad Film Club, and they will be showing Santa Claus vs The Devil (we can’t vouch for the quality of this production, naturally) and our customers Ritz Belper & Clevedon Curzon Community Cinema are hosting Christmas special viewings. Comedy clubs like Komedia Brighton offer a wide range of attractions, and in the run up to Christmas, the venue which has been voted the best for entertainment a record 12 years in a row in the city, is hosting Pitschi: The Kitten with Dreams – a charming and touching tale full of good humour, adventure, live music, song and a Swiss cat.
A long walk on a crisp, bright wintery day can be a great time to reflect over the Christmas period. Explore Hestercombe Gardens near Taunton, which will host Winter Walk of Lights which is an evening trail through their magnificent grounds. Bicycle champions Sustrans have collected a number of nationwide routes which are suitable for the whole family over the holiday season, and have also produced a helpful guide to Christmas shopping by bicycle. If walking and bike riding has become a little too vanilla for your liking, you could try out indoor climbing at The Reach; gripping rocks instead of another slice of Stollen.
New years resolutions
If you have the chance to take advantage of the extra bank holidays in December and January, you could use this time to look at the different ways which you can contribute to a positive impact society. You could look at switching energy suppliers, and companies like Ecotricity have the lowest carbon footprint of any electricity and gas supplier in the UK.
Christmas is a popular time to be thinking about volunteering, and whilst many charities appreciate the help that is offered during this period – much needed support is required throughout the whole year. Organisations such as Do It can link you with a local organisation. Some of the charities we support such as Penny Brohn, Frank Water and Sturts Community Farm are always looking for different kinds of volunteer support. You can also lend your name to fighting against injustice all over the globe by joining campaigns spearheaded by Amnesty International or 38 Degrees.
You may want to start planning your summer holidays, or take advantage of the winter-low season by booking a break at one of our green tourism accredited customers such as Glencoe Cottages, Glan Morfa Lodge, Mazzard Farm or Bangers Organic.
New Years is also the period for self-critical flab-blasting, and as punishment for munching our way through an unhealthy and probably unnecessary amount of food – we will quite foolishly plunge ourselves into sports and exercise for the first few weeks of the year. For the martial artists amongst us, try these Vehement vegan boxing gloves when hitting the punchbag.
However you choose to spend the festive season, we wish you a very happy Christmas!
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