Thursday, 16 December 2010

Christmas shopping part one - green forgiveness

Having been bought up a Christian I am well versed in feeling guilty and this time of year is the perfect opportunity for honing those skills. To help with the trauma of buying someone what they want instead of an ecologically sound gift I have developed a kind of green atonement or carbon offsetting for the individual.

Of course if you are Kirsty Allsopp you will have unlimited time and a constant supply of soap makers, seamstresses and flea markets and all your grandchildren will be delighted to receive a secondhand jam jar full with jelly beans instead of a galaxy tab but for mortal souls we have to make compromises.

So the next three days I am offering my thoughts on how to negotiate the season relatively guilt free (keep watch for my survive January blog)

My first carbon offsetting is to buy as many ecologically sounds gifts as possible for those that will accept them. Norwich has a number of places you can now buy handmade goods. St Lawrences textile centre has a great selection of vintage clothes and handmade crafts ( where you can also find Anne McCrudden's highly sought after teacosies)St Gregories Centre for the arts also has great secondhand, homemade, vintage goods and the most amazing cake. Elm Hill has several good shops and one new craft shop that has opened has handmade socks amongst other things.

The gloves I am sporting in the photograph are from a shop in Scotland. They are made by a 90 year old local woman who used charity wool knitted to a pattern named after the Duke of Buccleuch who encouraged the hand knitting industry over 150 years ago.The pattern is called Sanquhar named after a town in Dumfries-shire.

Another offsetting is to come home from shoppping and do some mending and drink some nettle tea, you will feel very groud (green and proud).

More tomorrow on green gifts....


  1. Nice post Helen! I hear your guilt.

    Although I'm trying desperately to avoid the atrocious consumerism that we call 'Christmas', I can't yet NOT give gifts but this year I'm keeping them to a minimum which helps. One item each - even for the darling neices and nephews). And over half are hand-made by me - hoorah! The few bought items are fairtrade, organic or second-hand.

    Nice gloves :)

  2. well done Rache!
    you have done better than me.

  3. Nice photo and love those gloves,jonathan,x