I’m dreaming of a green Christmas…

After the treats of Christmas Day, Hannah from our Fundraising team is looking for ways to go green during the rest of the holidays with her three children. Read her five top ways to have a greener post-Christmas time and start the new year right!

1. A winter walk

I’m hoping for some crisp winter walks with the children while they are off school, after a fairly damp autumn here in Derbyshire. “We’re going on a walk” is my go-to for reducing screen time but the promise of a hot chocolate once we’re home is also usually involved!

With a bit of Christmas indulgence in mind, I’m going to sign up the Big Lent Walk 2024. Walking 200km over the 40 days of Lent is a great way to get active and set myself a challenge – while helping to fight global poverty. I don’t have to start the training right this minute do I…?!

If you’re in Liverpool or Bollington, there’s a much closer moment to blow the cobwebs away! CAFOD’s family-friendly Christmas Fun Runs are taking place on Wednesday 27 December and you can register on the day.

Connie, Enid and Bert on a damp autumn walk!

2. Leftover goodies

We’ve a family tradition of meeting on Boxing Day with aunties, uncles and cousins for turkey and chips, which certainly puts a dent in our leftovers from the Christmas Day feast, but there will still be enough to try this delicious sounding spiced turkey stew the following day – it even uses up leftover potatoes!

The kids get so much chocolate each year that occasionally it’s still in the treat tin at Easter! I’m going to try and put a dent in that this year by making this Christmas cake rocky road. A fridge cake is always a favourite in our house – and it’s easy to get younger children like Bert (aged 4) involved.

3. Gifts that keep on giving

We all got some lovely presents this year, though the kids have inevitably got some duplicate books and toys! I’ll keep these back and try to regift them or donate them in the new year.

Bert, Enid and Connie have also got some Christmas money from their Great Grandpa and it is burning a hole in their pockets! I’m going to suggest that they put some of it towards a World Gift and have fun choosing a gift together.

Fight fires in the Amazon will no doubt be Enid’s top choice – she’s the climate crisis champion in our house – especially after we all watched Planet Earth 3 together!

Enid with the World Gift she bought for her school class

4. Reduce, reuse, recycle

When I was little, we used to turn Christmas cards into tags and decorations for the following year – and I’ll definitely repeat this tradition with my children over these next few days. We’ll chop out the pictures from the front of the cards and add glitter and stickers from all of the craft sets we’ve collected!

We’ve reused our Christmas jumpers this year – it’s an easier task with three children as the eldest gets a new one and the others are handed down. Happily we were able to get Connie’s festive jumper from a bring and buy sale at her school as well.

I’d love to have a potted Christmas tree that can be used year after year, but our garden doesn’t quite allow for that! I’ll be investigating how to compost our Christmas tree after Epiphany instead.

Bert, Enid and Connie in their Christmas jumpers

5. A new year’s resolution with a difference

As well as committing to the Big Lent Walk (it’s in print now – and online! It’s definitely happening) I’m going to set up a monthly gift to CAFOD starting on January pay day.

A monthly gift is a great way to help charities plan their work – for CAFOD that means more parents and families being helped to change their own lives – and it makes sure that local experts can respond quickly in emergencies too!

Happy New Year!

Please let me know in the comments what little and large things you’re doing during the Christmas break to go green and help in the fight against poverty. My family wishes yours a very happy 2024!

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