Having kids has taken Christmas to the next level for me

It’s reconnected me with the magic of it all, which is really freaken cool. The kids are pumped about Santa, the presents, the tree, the food – let’s be honest, so am I.

One thing that dulls my Xmas balls

But there’s one thing that dulls my baubles. It’s the thought of the station wagon full of stuff that we’ll haul home after the tinsel has been sent to landfill.

The short lived hyper excitement of ripping open presents quickly changes to the reality of cramming more crap into the toybox that will rarely get used – or gets broken, stood on and sweared at.

If you’re on to it, you might re-gift it or get it to the charity shop – but it still feels like we’re just creating more crap that the planet doesn’t need, nor your sanity!


Anyway…enough grinching. I’m not saying give your kids a piece of fruit in their Santa sack and be done with it, no one wants to be that guy.

There are some simple ways that you can influence things that will save your sanity and the planet. Here’s Mainstream Green’s 5 Ways to a Crap-Free Christmas.

1. Set limits

Who-gives-to-who can totally spin out of control, especially when you have a large family. Take time upfront to have a conversation about who buys for who and set spend and quantity limits.

It may feel awkward at the time, but I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t want to cut down their Christmas shopping list.

 2. Ask & tell

If in doubt about what to give, ask a a parent. It’s way better for a child to receive something that they want or need.

If you ask, it’s highly likely you’ll be asked in return. I keep a list on my phone throughout the year of stuff my kids need.

 3. Give good stuff

Experiences: Events, tickets, memberships, subscriptions, lessons – they’re the gifts that keep on giving.

Practical things: Things that have a life beyond Boxing Day.

Quality over quantity: Get a few things but make them awesome.

4. Make it a tradition

Grandparents in our family give the same gifts each year. Birthdays are shoes; Easter pyjamas; Christmas, togs. The kids really look forward to it, and often they go shopping together to get them. A gift and time together – boom!

5. Don’t go there

Avoid the dollar stores – yep for real. I know, I know, it’s great for stocking stuffers…but it’s crap. It doesn’t last and the smell of that place is enough to set my toxicity alarm bells jingling. It’s a tough habit to break, but push through, you can do it.

One small change

At Mainstream Green, we talk about making ‘one small change’. It’s not about trying to do everything and smash the record for being the fastest

It’s about small incremental change that sticks. So focus on something you are going to do differently this Christmas and nail it.

Ho ho ho.

The team from Mainstream Green

At Mainstream Green we’re all about living a bit simpler and a bit greener. It’s better for you, your family and the planet. We get that sh!t gets a little chaotic when you’re juggling the mother load and  so we share secret plans and clever tricks so that you can make simple changes which have a big impact. We keep it real.