Have you seen that cartoon with Santa taking his sleigh of gifts straight to landfill called Cutting out the middleman?

Sadly this is reality and it's not good for Papatūānuku or our wallet.

I don't want to sound like the Christmas Grinch but, I do worry about the pressure Christmas puts on us to buy gifts that we can't really afford and then have them end up in landfill in the next spring clean. Where is the sense in that?

Most of us don't have dedicated funds to call upon at this time of the year and clock up credit card debt, skip bills or do without to get through. Yet we do it, every year — because we want our loved ones to know we care. It's human nature and it's habit.

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But, I'm calling on Hamiltonians to make some small changes this year for an 'as ethical as possible Christmas'.

Consider buying secondhand or "vintage", diverting quality, unique items from landfill, supporting charity and saving you loads of money. You'll be amazed at what you can find at the Dump shop, or Sallies. Spit, polish and wrap.

A little bit crafty? Make something useful like a reusable bag or produce bags from an old T-shirt or fabric lying around.

Youtube has numerous DIY videos to help you out. Your friends and whānau will appreciate it immensely in less than six months when the plastic ban kicks in. Yipee on that.

Our tamariki will remember that time they went to the zoo, movie or theatre more than they will another expensive plastic toy. Make memories, not waste.

I know that 90 per cent of the fun is unwrapping, so make a game of it.

But remember that foil wrapping paper isn't recyclable so stick to the paper stuff (which is cheaper anyway).

I also think it's time we called time on the dreaded workplace Secret Santa. It's always novelty crap that has no function. Why not change your workplace tradition to be $5 or $10 towards a charity, you agree on. Win-win.

Christmas doesn't have to be about debt, gifts destined to landfill and stress. But it will take some changes. What will you do differently this year?

Kelli Pike, known as Kelli from the Tron, is a blogger and Free FM podcaster on political, environmental and social issues for the city.