“When you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence.’
Alice is currently based, with her family, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1. How do you like your brussel sprouts?
A few years ago we discovered a new way to cook brussel sprouts – you carefully remove all the leaves of the little green balls of goodness, and sauté them with onions & garlic. It is a laborious labour of love (but isn’t the whole Christmas meal?!), and they taste delicious
2. What’s at the top of your Christmas Wish List?
Matching Christmas PJs!!! Last year we tried a ‘No New Christmas’ where (as an extended family) we could only buy each other second hand goods or experiences. It was hard, and wonderful (my Mum completely ignored the brief and bought the kids Lego regardless!!!), but what I missed most was our family matching PJs. So this year, we are still opting for a more conscious Christmas – shopping local, supporting small ethical companies, BUT bringing back the matching PJs – everyone, from my 79 year old Dad, to my youngest baby nephlet (& all 20 family members in between) will be living the Christmas PJ dream!
3. Is it a turkey Christmas, or are you veggie, vegan, seagan, or something else?
I am a vegetarian, but as a family we are working towards becoming vegan. We are making the change gradually: the kids eat meat if offered it when we are out, but we don’t have meat at home. We still eat cheese, but are trying to cut out milk… just little by little, making small changes. This Christmas we will still have a turkey (for the members of the family for whom it wouldn’t be Christmas without it), but I think we all agree the veggies are the best bit anyway! 😉
4. Who will be at your Christmas table?
Just family this year – three big tables worth of family. The grandchild situation is getting slightly out of hand – there are 13 grandchildren under the age of 10, on my side of the family alone!
5. What’s your best Christmas Cracker joke?
Are you ready for it…Why was the snowman looking through the carrots?
He was picking his nose!
6. If – in the spirit of our Christmas Campaign – you would be keen to build a longer table rather than a higher fence, who would you lengthen your table for this Christmas?
We are currently living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and I work in a hospital for children undergoing cancer treatment. If I could, I would extend the table straight in to that ward and right over to the beds of the children who won’t be able to get out of them this year. Families that won’t be together on Christmas morning as one parent will be waking up in the hospital with a child who may not be well enough to open their eyes. This is a hospital that is run on donations, as none of the families are able to afford medical insurance. It is a grotty, tired, mess of a hospital, with some of the kindest volunteer doctors and nurses I have ever met. I’d extend it to include them too because giving up your family Christmas, out of choice, to spend the day in a hospital, takes a very special kind of angel.
7. Who would you most like to encourage to do the same (i.e. is there someone you can think of who would benefit from being mindful of the saying!)?
Yes…. ‘Me’!!!! When I first read this question I began to think about other people & leaders who I wished had a better social conscience. But change begins at home, right? And I still have a long way to go!
Everyday our family makes choices about how to use the resources available to us. When we have more work then expected, we can choose to spend the extra money on a much desired luxury item, or choose to give a chunk away. When I need to buy a birthday present, I can hit up Amazon prime for a great priced, very convenient present to be delivered to their door, or spend longer buying an ethical gift that will also positively impact the community from where it was made. When we need to buy the kids new clothes; chose where to stay on holiday; decide who to invite over for dinner… Choosing to use our resources in a way that is ethical, or for items with a social conscience, is rarely the easy option, it is almost never the most convenient. But it is a great challenge to keep trying…. one little gift/donation/invite at a time. Thank you.
8. Which of our handcrafted Christmas gifts would you like to give to another?
Hmmm, this is a difficult question because I have already bought several to give to people this year. I have asked Santa to pop the juggling balls, friendship bracelets & beaded animals into the kids stockings. My in-laws & parents are getting the scented candles and key-rings (I hope they don’t read this!!!). I have also bought extra rainbow bracelets and soapstone hearts to bring back to Buenos Aires to give as birthday presents this year. This website actually DOES make it possible to buy gifts with a social & ethical conscience in a way that is easy & convenient. Plus there isn’t anything on there that I wouldn’t want to give, or RECEIVE…. (PS my birthday is in September…. just saying!)
Thanks so much Alice!
Will you be a #tablebuilder this Christmas?
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