The festive season is upon us. Many consider it to be the most wonderful time of the year. For vegans though, the holidays can come with some particularly stressful challenges, particularly if we are celebrating with non-vegan family & friends. In this blog, we share tips and tricks to help you navigate family dinners, do sustainable decorating and find the perfect gifts for an awesome vegan Christmas.
You might be lucky and have (mostly) plant-based family and / or friends, or at least non-vegan loved ones who are amazingly supportive of your choices. But many of us have to contend with family members who ask us to ‘’just be flexible for once’’ for a Christmas dinner, or those who go as far as to judge our choices. The Christmas dinner table might not be the best place to start a discussion or educate people about veganism (harmony might have to be a first priority). But if people do start the conversation with you and are able and willing to listen respectfully, be prepared to have some good arguments. This podcast episode of The Plant Powered People gives you some amazing food for thought (pun intended) and extra tips on successfully getting through difficult Christmas dinners.
There are ways to make it a little easier on ourselves and ensure the table is filled with delicious plant-based foods: offer to host Christmas! It is a great opportunity to show loved ones we don’t need meat, fish or dairy to have an incredible festive dinner. Not a great cook? Don’t worry, the Vood Kitchen has got you covered if you are Brisbane-based! This awesome vegan ‘made-to-order’ food company just brought out a beautiful savoury and sweet Christmas menu with items such as Wellington roast, stuffed pumpkin, Christmas pudding, salads and so much more. Not in Brisbane? Simply Google your local vegan caterer or go to an organics store nearby.
If you do enjoy cooking, check out Jamie Oliver’s great selection of vegan Christmas recipes, or our very own wealth of beautiful recipes. Be careful when selecting some wines to go with it. Did you know that unfortunately the majority of wines are made with the aid of animal products? Egg, milk products or even fish scales are used in filtering processes. Always check the back of your bottle, or order from a vegan wine company such as Goodwill Wine, who donate 50% of profit to Animal Liberation Queensland.
Why not shift the focus from commercial to compassionate and sustainable shopping? Consider going to the RSPCA op shop. Around this time of year the op shops are filled with awesome Christmas decorations that usually cost only between 1 to 3 dollars an item. These bargains are great for your wallet, for the environment (because: circular economy) and for the animals at the RSPCA shelters who benefit from all profits the stores make. Winning!
And of course you can get creative yourself too. Here are some ideas:
- Hang an animal Christmas wreath: transform a simple traditional Christmas wreath into a lively animal themed one by finding animal-themed Christmas decorations and gluing them to a basic wreath. Or even use your typical small animal toy figures and spray paint them in silver or gold.
- Go for an animal theme in your Christmas tree: hang animal ornaments and anything else that conveys compassion and kindness.
- Go for plastic-free ornaments: better for the planet and extra festive. Having decorations made with natural materials (like wood) gives Christmas a much more rustic feel which gives us a feeling of the original true sense of this holiday. Shop at your local crafts market, or make some yourself with your kids: with salt dough. Inexpensive and super fun!
Whilst at the RSPCA op shop or the local craft market, you can score some cool Christmas gifts too. Alternatively, it can be really lovely to shift to meaningful gifts that are home-made or support charities. Here are some ideas:
- A hand-made card or written letter – the festive season is a wonderful time to share with your loved ones what you appreciate about them;
- Food gifts, such as home-made Christmas cookies;
- Wines from Goodwill Wine, which donates 50% of all profits to Animal Liberation Queensland;
- Awesome apparel from the Animal Liberation compassionate shop, such as this cooking apron – perfect for your family members doing the Christmas dinners;
- Charity Christmas raffle tickets;
- Donations! Donate to your favourite charity in the name of the receiver of the gift, and print a certificate;
- Vegan cookbooks.
Have a safe, happy, enjoyable and compassionate Christmas!
Until next time! Herbivore hugs,