The moment that first advent calendar door is opened, excitement levels begin to grow for young and old alike. But grown-ups, especially those in lockdown, might also be wondering how to channel that festive energy into something that doesn’t end in tears and tantrums. Don’t get your sustainable tinsel (more on this below) in a tangle!

Hubbub’s “parent pack" has got your back, with lots of tried and tested ideas for sustainable festive family fun!

Making edible gifts together

Rather than tapping that final click in your virtual gift basket, get the family involved in making gifts that will stand out in the crowd of otherwise predictable soap sets and pairs of socks! 

1) Sweet treats

There is an Irish saying that says “Laughter is brightest in the place where the food is.”. At Hubbub, we could not agree more, so here are our top suggestions for spreading that laughter from your kitchen to the hearts of those dearest to you….    

And these perfect treats need perfect eco-packaging! With small hands ready to get creative, old jars rule. A drop of imagination and some craft materials will transform them into a unique and airtight home for your treats. If jars aren't your thing, decorate some paper bags or cardboard boxes.

2) Fancy salts

Grab a mortar and pestle (or a blitzer if you have one) to create some fancy salts for the foodies in your family. Keep an eye on little fingers in the blitzing process as you follow some of these brilliantly easy flavoured salt recipes. Design some labels or tags to personalise this tasty gift. Get the family comedians to come up with some jokes to raise a smile “Which salt has the best eyesight? See salt.”

Making decorations together

3) Nature wreaths

To burn off any festive energy, combine wreath making with a big outdoor walk where you can challenge your excited elves into a twig collecting competition to create their very own nature wreath by tying or gluing sticks to a wreath or heart-shaped ring (an old coat hanger will do the job). Wreath tutorial here.

4) Rag wreaths

Dig out those ragged old clothes the children have grown out of, the ones that have more holes than a snowflake! Free up space by giving these old clothes a new life by cutting into strips to tie around a metal ring which you can buy online or make out of an old metal hanger. Reward small hands with a hot chocolate as you create the ultimate festive eco-assembly line to create beautiful wreaths we think you can actually leave up all year round. Wreath tutorial here.

5) Sustainable tinsel 

Remember the sustainable tinsel we mentioned earlier? There's plenty of fun alternatives you can make instead, from paper chains and bunting to popcorn strings. Check out more inspo here. 

6) Natural tree decorations 

You don't need to spend loads on new decorations each year, there's tonnes of fun (and plastic free) things you can make at home. Check out some of these. 

Gift wrap

7) Print wrapping

Make gift wrapping part of the fun by wrapping gifts in kraft paper or newspaper and decorating with festive fingerprint creatures. Washable paint is a top tip for this afternoon of fingerpainting fun!

8) Handmade gift tags

When it comes to gift tags, cut up last year’s Christmas cards with crinkle cut scissors, punch a hole and tie on with old ribbon or string. At Hubbub, we never let anything go to waste! So if anyone was wondering how to upcycle their peanut shells…..look no further than these super cute reindeer gift tags.

Other festive activities

9) Plant a present

Air-cleaning-carbon-absorbing-mood-boosting-beauty-making gifts (otherwise known as houseplants) are a gift that will get bigger and better as they grow. Even better with a one-of-a-kind plant pot designed by your little one. 

  1. Rinse out any old tin cans and let imaginations run wild with craft glue, coloured paper, paints, old buttons, ribbons and pebbles to create a truly unique plant pot
  2. Don’t worry that it’s winter, indoor houseplants don’t know that and many are incredibly easy to take cuttings from. (For cuttings tips check out this short video. If the idea of propagating sends your green thumbs into a frenzied panic, fear not, just try planting some small flower bulbs.)
  3. Fill your decorated tin with soil and plant your cuttings (or bulbs) to give your gift recipient a blooming marvellous 2021.

10) Christmas stories

Why not turn the 30 second rip-open-and-stuff-in-your-mouth activity of advent calendar choccies into a special storytime too. Each afternoon or evening when they have the treat from their calendar they can also cuddle up for a story. Reading together or to each other is a calming activity compared to how hectic the rest of Christmas can get! You could find festive stories online, borrow a bunch of books from the library, or read old favourites like a different Disney story each night. 

We’d love to know how you get on so please share your creations with us at [email protected]

Thanks, it's last year's.

Not sure what you're wearing to Christmas parties this year? In the UK 7 million of us are going to buy something new to wear out in December, yet 1 in 5 of us won't rewear an outfit to more than one party.

Want an outfit that feels great without the cost to your bank account or the environment? Join our sustainable fashion campaign and dig out old favourites or buy second hand, restyle, rewear and share instead of buying new this festive season. #ThanksItsLastYears


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