Merry Lagom Christmas

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A few weeks ago I did a whole series on Lagom. This is the Swedish word for living a life in balance. Not too little, and not too much, but just enough. It means that we are more mindful of what we are using, and encourages us to recycle and be more sustainable. So in the long term it saves us money, and perhaps the planet. Who doesn’t want to do those? So this year, why not have a Merry Lagom Christmas?

Merry Lagom Christmas

Merry Lagom Christmas

The mainstay of a Lagom lifestyle is to reuse, recycle and reduce how much we are using. To me the Christmas holiday is all about getting together and enjoying some quality time with the family. But it is also an increasingly commercial affair, and to children this means a load of new toys. And a lot of plastic. We throw an awful lot away over the holidays, from the wrapping paper to the toy boxes. So what can we do to make Christmas a less throwaway affair?

Christmas Cards

Maybe the most ecologically sound thing is to not give Christmas cards. But I do like cards, and they do arrive each year.

When I was younger we used to turn some of our cards into tags for the following year using pinking shears and string.

You could also reuse some of the best bits from your cards in making new handmade ones of your own to send. But I’ve found another decorative way to reuse old cards.

Merry Lagom Christmas - cards before cutting

A Card Garland is easy to make by

  • drawing circles around a glass on the fronts of the card,
  • cutting out and sticking them together in pairs (I used a glue stick)
  • sewing them on a sewing machine.
  • Start with a really long length of thread before you sew.
  • Sew the first pair of circles through the middle.
  • As you reach the edge of one pair of circles, add the next pair.
  • Leave a long length of thread at the end.

Make these as long as you need.

Merry Lagom Christmas - garland in place

(You may also notice my Padded Christmas Tree and Rag Wreath there)

Christmas Decorations

One of the best ways of recycling decorations is to have a tree that you can replant in the garden and reuse year in year out. Make sure to keep it watered and moist whilst indoors though.

However, for those of us that don’t have gardens, myself included, you may need to buy a fake tree or a new real tree each year.

If you do get a real tree, a lot of councils and other people advertise the service to come round afterwards to pick up and dispose of your tree in an ecologically sound way.

But one of the most Lagom ways of decorating is to get foliage, branches and flowers from the garden to decorate. You can use any extra branches that you don’t need from your real tree, plus holly, ivy and other seasonal plants from outdoors to decorate your mantle and hearth. Plus to make table centrepieces.

Merry Lagom Christmas - mantle

Christmas Wrapping Paper

You may not realise, but a fair amount of the wrapping paper that we send in our green bin cannot be recycled at all. Especially if it has plastic surfaces, metallic or glitter finishes. These end up in landfill.

So a better idea, and one of the best and most recyclable wrappings is plain brown paper. You can spend some time applying utensils, or use pretty string. Make it more personal.

Merry Lagom Christmas - brown paper christmas parcel

Why not reuse old paper and bags, keeping them to one side for reuse next year? I do save old bags, and just add a new tag these days. It seems so wasteful to just throw them away.

Lastly, why not make fabric bags from Christmas fabric, with appliquéd names on them? These can be used year in and year out.

Christmas Presents

And while we are on the subject of presents, do we really need to buy so much this year? How much of it do we actually need?

Yes it is lovely to give and receive gifts, but maybe we need to stop just giving for the sake of it. Isn’t it a better idea just to give meaningful gifts?

How about setting a budget if frugality is the main aim? Giving memories rather than ‘things’? My favourite idea is to give ‘vouchers’ such as an offer to babysit, or do somebody’s nails. Giving your time is a much better present. Make a present. Give a cake that you have made. Or even a rag rug!

Merry Lagom Christmas - 60 Positive Motivational Quotes - collect moments, not things

As to all the plastic toys that the children want? Well, there is always going to be the latest thing. But why not regift some of the old toys to children who are in need? Or give them to friends with younger children. Or sell them on eBay to make way for the new stock. It’s much better for the planet to buy second hand.

A Merry Lagom Christmas is not about me telling you how to life your life. I do realise that we are all strapped for time, and sometimes we have to spend money to save time. But you can save a lot of money, and make Christmas so much more personal by spending a little time and turning slightly away from the mass made market.

I hope you like some of my ideas for a Merry Lagom Christmas. Are there any that you would use? Do comment below. If you really like this post, why not share it?

Enjoyed reading this? Why not read more about how to Lagom your life? In Lagom Your Life. The Kitchen

or how to give treasured moments over material presents

Why not pin me for later?
merry lagom Christmas

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42 Replies to “Merry Lagom Christmas”

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I love the traditions and special times coming up to Christmas so much. Thank you for reading!

      Reply
  1. Tracy Albiero says:

    This is fab! We use a fake tree. I love the idea of reusing cards. I have a ton that I am going to make a garland with. This will be so unique. I have encouraged my family to give my kid experience items for Christmas. Movie passes. Coupons for family time. We as a society have way too much stuff!!!

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Totally agree. We are using a fake tree while we have a toddler but I do love a real tree!

      Reply
  2. Cheryl | TimeToCraft says:

    Love your list. I’m all for a more simple time over the festive period. Hope you have the Merry Lagon Christmas that you are after. #PoCoLo

    Reply
  3. Raisie Bay (@RaisieBay) says:

    Fabulous ideas, I’m all for making things for Christmas and recycling old cards. This year I’ve been busy crocheting gifts for people, this can be costly with the price of wool, but I make some gorgeous scarfs using the leftover bits of wool from other projects.
    Thanks for linking your post to my Christmas linky, I’ll keep retweeting it until Christmas and put it on my Pinterest board. x
    Raisie Bay (@RaisieBay) recently posted…The Secret Woodland Activity BookMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you Anne. It always amazes me how many leftovers I get with crafting, and I just want to keep finding ways of using them!

      Reply
  4. Fiona Cambouropoulos says:

    I have 3 years of old cards, I use them for so many things including garlands and gift tags. I hate to see waste and making things makes me feel the Christmas magic #GlobalBlogging

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Me too! I love the crafting coming up to Christmas, and finding new ways to use up old things is a really great challenge!

      Reply
  5. Isabel says:

    Love the idea of making garlands out of old card motifs, so pretty and bespoke – thank you for sharing #globalblogging

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I realised that I had another box of old cards too. I could probably make enough garland to cover my house! Thank you for reading

      Reply
  6. Katie says:

    Wow I knew nothing about this. What a great idea. Perhaps a good way to alleviate some of the stress
    Thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you, I do hope that there is less stress this year – but I’m not hosting so that’s a start!

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I love brown paper as wrapping. And thank you for reading

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      It just is such a shame to even put them to recycle isn’t it? I’d rather make something new with them! Thank you for reading

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Yes they do, and it all grows back on the trees outside so nothing lost.

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      The card garland is such an easy thing to do. So effective and such a good use of all those lovely cards we get sent!

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I think the whole planet needs more of it. Thank you for reading.

      Reply
  7. Pickinguptoys says:

    I really like the idea of using brown paper for wrapping. I’m becoming more and more aware and dismayed by the amount of wastage and want to do my bit. This year I’m determined to give it my best. #blogcrush

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      It is really worth doing, plus I do think that they look so stylish. The waste of so much paper is so wrong! Thank you for reading

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you. Always looking for toddler friendly, a lot of these aren’t just yet!

      Reply
  8. Heather Keet says:

    A few years ago I switched to reusable decorated boxes that I could put under our tree. We skip the wrapping paper and just reuse the bows and boxes each year. I love it and it looks so classy under the Christmas tree. #GlobalBlogging

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      This sounds like an absolutely brilliant idea. I had planned on making reusable bags… but time is rapidly running out and I seem to have so much to do!

      Reply
  9. Daydreams of a Mum says:

    Some fab ideas here!! I’m going to use brown paper for wrapping this year. I do love making gifts look all pretty but I didn’t realise about the recycling problem until a couple months ago so I’ll get inventive with the brown paper , maybe buy some Christmas stamps #blogcrush

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I do think that the brown paper looks really classy. I stamped mine with a white stamp a few years ago which looked fab!

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      We do throw away so much. It’s great to even get one more use out of something instead of throwing it away.

      Reply

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