What Not To Get Me For Christmas


“Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence—those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you’d collapse. And while you people are overconsuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster.” 

~ Aldous Huxley

When I was a kid, Christmas was something to look forward to. We’d get a new toy or two, maybe a book (mine was always books), a dress or a t-shirt, socks and undies. The toys would last us for the year, the clothes made up a necessary part of our wardrobe.

The food at the table was a treat. Soft-drink. The drink for special occasions, like Christmas. Lollies and candies and chocolate. All sorts of things we didn’t see much of during the year. It was special and lovely, and much anticipated.

The rest of the year had birthdays and Easter. That was about it for special. That was about it for treats. And that was okay.

Now I live a life where I can have anything I want, whenever I want it. There isn’t much reserved for treats. I have a life filled with stuff. And it’s likely that so do you. So you may be thinking you’ll have to find something I don’t have. Or something cute and irresistible. Something to make me laugh. Something to fill that minute after the wrapping is torn off with appreciation or even ironic horror before your gift gets set to one side, or stuffed in the back of a cupboard, or relegated to a pile to be re-gifted later. Or worse. Binned.

So here’s my list of gifts I’d rather not have:

1.No inflatable novelty items for the pool. The ones that hold beer cans or a book or a radio. Or inflatable tennis rackets or giant inflatable dolphins, poo emojis, swans or funky big ‘thumbs ups’. No inflatable anythings, and that includes balloons!

2.No battery-operated (or even solar) Grannies on Zimmer-frames games. No wind-up toys either.

3. No plastic toys, collectable figures or novelty salt-and-pepper shakers.

4. No executive games or Startrek snow globes or other objects to place on my desk. (Actually, I lied about the Startrek snow globe. That would be cool.)

5. No cheap plastic jewellery or novelty items, or even semi-seemed-useful items from the local $5 store. We both know it will break on first go. Cheap plastic junk was only ever going to be destined for landfill.

6. No weird and totally useless novelty-value only books, CDs or DVDs.

7. No strange but potentially useful kitchen gadgets that you’re sure I won’t have. You’re right. I don’t. For a reason.

8. No USB-powered fake fish aquariums to keep me tranquil while I work.

9. No cheap gift sets of toiletries and cosmetics of dubious quality, filled with terrifying chemicals. Especially if it is endorsed by a celebrity or came from a TV shopping channel.

10. No cute puppies or kittens or pet rats. Especially the un-neutered kind. Seriously, do you know how many dumped unwanted pets we see around our farm by Easter?

I could go on. But I won’t. Our planet is struggling because of our consumerism. All of the resources used to make, ship and then wrap the unwanted gift are part of that problem.

A kind thought, a donation to a charity, a newsy letter with updated pics of you and your family, a warm smile and a hug, or a tasty treat are the gifts I’d most value. Home-made food? Thank you! A plant, or produce from your garden? How lovely!

Time with me, a cup of tea, and a proper conversation with a few laughs or a few honest tears from heart-to-heart sharing? A couple of drinks and a barbeque? Best of all.

I have enough stuff. I’d rather have you. Time with you. Connection with you. Put a little food or a beverage into the mix and I’m in heaven.

Please, before you go last-minute gift buying, ask yourself if there is a better gift you could give. One that won’t go to waste. One that won’t harm our planet or perpetuate the factory-farming and dumping of animals.

Thank you.

The Compromise My Husband Makes To Honour Fairy Wishes

“Even though the bee is small, there she is on the flower, doing something of value. And the value she creates there contributes to a larger ecosystem of value, in that mountain meadow, in that range of mountains, in the world and even the universe. And can’t you just feel how happy she is?” 
Jay Ebben

A few years ago, during a channelling session at one of my Pop-Up Shop events my fairy friend Sokli spoke about the importance of bees – and how we could help to support them by planting blue, white, purple and yellow flowers. She also asked us to let our lawns go a bit wild, because clover and other flowering legumes and herbs supported so many bees, moths and insects, which in turn supported the lizards and frogs and birds, and so on in the web of life.

My husband Ben was there that night recording the session for me. A few days later, home at the farm, I watched him drive the ride-on mower erratically around the house garden. Why? He was doing what Sokli asked and avoiding all the clover patches.

I’m happy to report that we have a thriving bee population now, of many species. And lawns filled with buzzy clover patches.

Please spare a thought for our bee friends and avoid using chemicals on your lawns and gardens. It would be terrific if you could plant some bee-friendly plants in pots or in your garden beds, and help to create some small habitats that can support a healthier happier planet. Plus you’ll get the bonus of nature’s beauty!

And if you’d like to come to my next Pop-Up Shop Channelling event in November you can find out more about that here.

Much love to you, Nicole ❤ xx

 

10 Simple Everyday Actions To Help The Planet

“The future depends on what you do today.” 
Mahatma Gandhi

 

I know, I know. Sometimes it seems positively overwhelming, the state of our Planet – how big the mess is and how small we can feel as just one person.

But as one person we CAN make a difference.

Here are ten simple everyday actions you can take that will add up over time and help create lasting change:

  1. Give single use takeaway containers a miss. Drink your coffee from a keepcup or other washable and reusable container OR have it at the cafe from a proper cup.
  2. Use your own water bottle, and refill it yourself. Stop buying single-use plastic bottles of water.
  3. Have a shorter shower. This saves water and electricity.
  4. Walk or ride your bike instead of jumping in a car for short trips. This is also great for your health. (And maintain your bike or car with good tyre pressure and mechanicals to help conserve fuel.)
  5. Carry a small portable shopping bag in your handbag or satchel. Use it instead of single-use bags when you make a purchase. These little bags make great gifts too!
  6. Say no to plastic drinking straws when you order a cold beverage. Ask your local cafes and bars to stop using them too.
  7. Stop using party balloons and cheap plastic decorations. Use paper, flowers and other natural things that can decompose when you are done. Reuse existing decorations and take care of them well.
  8. Think about the gifts you buy. Stop choosing things that have no purpose or that will be quickly thrown away. Support local artisans, bakers and farmers. Wrap with paper and string or cloth and fabric ribbon.
  9. Consider wearing clothes again if they are not dirty and only wash when you have a full load.
  10. Turn off lights and appliances when you are not using them.

With everything you do think about how you can reduce, re-use, re-purpose or recycle.

All of our collective efforts can make a difference!

What are your favourite ways to help the planet? Share them in the comments below.
Lots of love, Nicole ❤ xx

Image from zazzle.com