On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Ten Lords a Leaping
A Lord by definition is someone with authority, law or power over others. The reference in this song are to the authority given to Moses when he was given the 10 commandments. In the context of a gift from the true love, God. They are are set of rules for living in a successful community. Apart from being really practical for living in a community, they are quite thought provoking. The last commandment of not being jealous of what others have is perhaps a good reminder to be content with all we have (which is rather a lot if we really think about it.)
I am the Lord thy God! Thou shalt have no other Gods but me!
Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain!
Thou shalt keep the Sabbath Day holy!
Thou shalt honor father and mother!
Thou shalt not kill!
Thou shalt not commit adultery!
Thou shalt not steal!
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor!
Do not let thyself lust after thy neighbor’s wife!
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, nor his farm, nor his cattle.
For an Eco inspired thought, her are 10 top tips for an Eco Christmas!
- Wrap presents in recyclable wrapping paper, avoiding laminated paper. I recently discovered that some places are using the FSC logo on wrapping paper that is sourced from sustainable forests which is great but also confusing. They have the recycle logo but is not recyclable unless it is put with Tetra Packs and that is only where facilities exist, and not widely recycled. Just using simple brown paper and green string can be festive and Eco! I have also been really chuffed to see that Sellotape has launched a completely plastic- free tape, available in most supermarkets that is made from cellusose. All my gifts will be wrapped using this tape this year.
2. Shop locally, especially with the recent months of many local shops having to shut due to the Coronavirus. It seems unfair that many of the larger supermarkets that have been able to continue to trade have taken the lion’s share this year. I have tried to support local places like Hitchin Lavevender farm and getting our meat and veg from Chruch Farm Ardely. Spending money in the local shops helps the local economy to grow, reduces the carbon impact of transportation and keeping people in jobs.
3. Buy FairTrade consumable gifts. Buying gifts with the FairTrade logo means that you have confidence that the farmers are getting a fair price. I can recommend this FairTrade hamper from Tradecraft or you can do a DIY gift with fair trade wines, chocolates, tea and coffee.
4. Consider a real Christmas tree, or plant your own. I read an interesting news article that was looking at the eco credentials of buying a real tree versus a plastic reusable tree. Most artificial trees are made from PVC which is very difficult to recycle so the best thing to do if you have one is to keep using it. If you are buying a real tree then try and buy it from a place where they are grown locally to avoid the transportation carbon impact. The best thing to do would be to grow your own like in the kit I wrote about on the first day of an Eco christmas that is potted and can be used year after year. There are some places that actually offer to look after your tree each year for a small fee and you can then go and collect in time for Christmas again.
5. Give books, or a token to use in a local book shop. Reading and knowledge is a wonderful thing to encourage others with. In Letchworth we are really lucky to have a fantastic book shop called David’s Bookshop that have a great selection and also a good second-hand collection. If there is something specific then they are always happy to help or can place an order.
6. Decorate with Eco-friendly decorations, that can be reused every year like wooden items or made from paper like the ideas on my post on a paper christmas.
7. Use alternative crackers that are not just thrown away after a single use. You can make your own using a simple toilet roll and some fabric with ties. Inside the cracker can be reusable gifts that you might actually want like some cookie cutter and a recipe or a wooden game that can be played many times. Instead of a joke, there could be challenge like, “say something you like or appreciate about the person sitting on your right”. If you want to buy crackers then look for ones that are completly recyclable including the gift inside.
8. Handmade gifts show thought, like the cookie mix in a jar gift that I did last year for a school pop up stall. They are really easy to put together and make some yummy cookies.
9. Switching to LED Christmas energy saving tree lights can save 80-90% energy that is used on the twinkly Christmas lights. It also a good idea to have the tree lights on a timer switch so they go off at certain times and are not wasting energy.
10. Use up Christmas leftovers. According to Respectfood:
Every year in the UK, approximately 7 million tonnes of food is wasted. Just during the Christmas, 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings, and 74 million mince pie get disposed while still edible, causing almost 270,000 tons of food waste in total during this widely celebrated holiday.
This statistic is a stark contrast to the number of people accessing food banks this year. I hate throwing away food as it seems so wasteful and un-economic. One of my favourite things to make in the days after Christmas is leftover turkey curry. I love that you just chuck it all in the pan with some spices and it make a delicious wholesome meal for the family.
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ten Lords a Leaping, Nine Ladies Dancing, Eight maids a Milking, Seven Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a laying, Five Gold Rings. Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and A Partridge in a Pear Tree.