If, like me, you can't bear the thought of more toiletries/chocolates/other small not very useful items given in the "spirit of Xmas" or because "it's the thought that counts", take this opportunity to make Xmas matter by giving a Gift 4 Good. If it was the thought that really counted, people would put more thought into it instead of buying something arb that fitted into a price range. I don't plan to get gifts this year (other than for immediate family), instead I'll give a donation to a charity and you can all share in the karma points :).
Here are some awesome tips to green your Xmas from urbansprout. I especially like the one about buying an indigenous tree instead of a plastic tree and planting it in a pot. Also, make homemade decorations instead of buying more tinsel and other crappy plastic junk every year. Jesse has some lovely little chocolate things in her Etsy shop. Here's her tutorial for making your own decorations. You could use any cute fabric or doilies. How about getting kids to print things with potatoes and fabric paint? I remember doing that in art class in school :). You could also make them and give them as gifts. The lovely bamboo scarf I have is available from Gifts with a Conscience, as well as other locally-made gifts. Her policy is to only sell things that benefit someone directly. Check out the cute little African angels.
I'm totally thinking of getting one of these DIY vege gardens. I think that will be the next plan after the chickens. Here's some delicious fair trade coffee (Ethiopian Sidamo ftw).
In other news, holiday planning progresses. I've booked my appointment for a Visa, I just hope my unabridged marriage certificate arrives before then. My marriage officer assures me he's on it but I think going into Home Affairs with a loaded shotgun might help to speed things along. I can't believe it's just over 2 weeks until we leave, it seemed so unreal and far away when we started planning it. Things I still need to get: Visa, gloves, parkajacketthing, International Drivers Permits. Things I still need to make: my scarf (nearly finished), scarf and hat for Phleep, hat for Mark. I have other Xmas knitting to do but that can be done in Germany (I hope to get some knitting done on the flight). So excited!