November 29, 2018

All Wound Up About Christmas?

How to Have A Buy Nothing Christmas

Step 1: Take a risk - don’t conform to those in the spending spree.

Step 2: The best gifts come in no packages. The Christmas story is all about flipping the system on its lid.

Step 3: Image is everything? Well, don’t get pegged as a mindless consumer - be a rebel this Christmas, and buy nothing.


  1. Well I won't buy nothing, but I will shop with meaning and love. I will make many from scratch old Swedish cookies. I will make fabulous food. I will gift and regift things that I know will be used and loved. Many of my gifts are home made. But you areso right about the Holiday nonsense.

    1. If only we all shopped "with meaning and love". That would eliminate the holiday nonsense.

  2. Not buying any gifts, just essentials.

    1. I like consumables, like food. Perhaps not the most exciting (although I would love to receive a winter squash for a gift), but very useful.

  3. I'm taking the pledge to be rebellious this Christmas! Going very minimal and only because it messes up relationships if I don't participate on a very small scale. The four people involved are very good to buy me things I actually need so there is no waste and they are very good to stick to needs and not extravagants. Their gifts are extremely helpful as I manage on a very low income.

    Besides rebelling about consumerism and advertising manipulation, buying crap is not in my budget. I am not able to turn the heat on here because I can't afford the bill. The electric company (owned by my city and managed through city council), they raise the power rate in the winter which is the highest use season! Talk about a slap in the face to poor people. The electric company, aka the city calls it "The Great Rate." I wish I were making this up. We've already had some below freezing nights. It is real. So getting into a buying christmas gifts mode would mean disaster on the scale of being homeless.
    Christmas songs make me cry. Sometimes a lot. I feel sick if I go into a store and see decorations, etc. So much waste. So much work people do to decorate. It's extremely important to them. I don't get it.
    Peace every one. Terri

    1. Christmas is a sad time for many people, and it's not hard to see why. It has been hijacked by corporate interests, and the pressure this time of year is intense. We can be rebellious and take back this seasonal celebration for ourselves, and observe it in simple and meaningful ways with the people we love.

      Our power rate went up December 1st, and will stay at the higher rate until March. It has been unseasonably cold this fall. Stay warm, and Peace to you.

  4. Anonymous11/29/2018

    No Christmas spending at my place. Terri, I hope you have a hot water bottle or two. I use them when I don't want to light the fire but need to keep warm. A few ideas we have had for reducing electricity in the cold weather -

    - turn the fridge off and use a 'pot-in-pot' system. You may also have a room in your home where it is cold enough to keep things fresh without the fridge (our laundry and bathroom are Baltic!)

    - turn off your hot water system. In Australia the hot water system accounts for an average of 25% of the electricity bill. So perhaps you could use the money saved for heating? As we are going into Summer here we were planning to try this out and just heat up water as we need it to wash.

    - one pot meals - delicious, warming soups and stews are great in cold weather and can be made without using multiple burners or turning the oven on

    Here in Australia electricity prices are staggering and only set to rise as the grid system is old and needs upgrading. I discovered today that almost $150 of our quarterly bill is just for the privilege of being connected and includes no electricity use. Our energy bill keeps going up even though our use keeps going down - we reduced our use by 16.5% this quarter and although our use is a third of the average for a family our size the bill is still high.

    I'm wondering if your electricity company has different 'products'? I rang my own supplier this morning and was told I can get an 18% reduction on my usage costs on a plan that rewards you for paying on time. Electricity is becoming a competitive industry now and city people often have a choice of suppliers and can get a better deal by swapping. I do resent the time it takes to keep on top of all of this, but it seems that is just the way things are now. I hope there may be some options here for you.

    Don't let the Christmas songs get you down. Christmas has become a crass, commercial event that actually has nothing to do with family, spirituality or anything else of value. I choose to just ignore the whole thing.


    1. Thanks for sharing some great ideas. In many places there are government programs for things like heating rebates and efficiency upgrades. Every bit helps. Nice work on reducing your electricity use. We turn our hot water tank off between 7am and 11pm when electricity is more expensive. Fixed charges make me want to go off-grid.

    2. Anonymous12/03/2018

      We were going to turn out hot water heater off as you do but heard that turning it off and on every day could damage it by burning out the element. I imagine hot water heaters are different in different parts of the world but it might be worth a quick chat with a plumber to check? I would hate you to get a bill when you are trying to save money!


      PS I wish I could give you some butternut squash! My seedlings have just come up and I have Jap pumpkin, Pottimarron and a delicious pumpkin I grew from seed saved from a Welshman at the farmer's market. I have planted 3 of each as like you I have had vines that didn't produce a lot in the past. Fingers crossed for a good harvest :-)

    3. Thanks for the tip on the water heater. Will look into that. Next year I am going to try hand pollinating my winter squash to see if I can improve our harvest. It looks fairly easy. Good luck with your squash this year. Exciting to be starting your garden.

  5. Thanks for hot water bottle idea. I am keeping the thermostat lower by using a sweater, long underwear, a lap blanket and now a hot water bottle. I also had the setting on my hot water heater lowered. I'm going for lower bills and lower emissions. Our bell choir is giving concerts this month. Music is one thing about Christmas that isn't so commercialized. Another garden sharing story. A choir member was talking about an over abundance of butternut squash. I said I'd be happy to take one off her hands. Next practice she came in with a sack like Santa and gave everyone two!

    1. We only harvested 3 butternut squash this year. Two were very large, and one was miniature. I would love to wake up on Christmas day to find a butternut or two.

      Lower bills, lower emissions? Yes, please. Living with less pays off.


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