Before you go loading up on goods for Christmas, Beck Vass implores you to ask yourself three questions.
I've just got back from a trip to get some Christmas presents. I decided I want Christmas sorted before December this year to avoid the mania.
All the usual Christmas merchandise is out and has been for weeks in some stores.
I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but seriously – most of this stuff is cheap and nasty crap.
Christmas decorations, junky plastic ornaments, Christmas-themed clothes, and then all the extras like the chocolates people give at this time of year but which actually taste gross. So much waste.
So much of this season is "for the sake of it".
We spend money on silly things because we don't know what else to get someone. I know it's hard, we all face it.
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It's really hard to buy for people who mostly already have everything they need or want - or can buy it for themselves.
It's especially hard buying for children who these days mostly have more than they could ever want or need. (Yes, I do know not all children have these luxuries but I am talking about the many who do).
We need to get rid of the concept of the "stocking filler". So many of these items break and end up in the bin and the only people who benefit are the makers of this junk and the company who gave you the credit card you paid for it with.
In addition, there is currently a trend in children's toys (Shopkins, LOLs and many other similar toys) where you pay for a packet or an egg of some sort and what's inside is a surprise.
Well, I can tell you what's inside: Surprise! It's s***!
"Collect them all" and similar catchphrases are on each packet.
Ugh. These things are disgusting.
The kids barely even play with what's inside. It's exciting when they're opening the packet but it's all just landfill.
None of it serves a purpose. None of it teaches the kids anything.
None of it offers any brain development or the use of imagination or skill, the only purpose they serve is increasing children's greed, consumerism and waste.
Today's kids – and the planet – don't need any more of that.
This time last year, we were all about to be Marie Kondo-ed.
The Netflix decluttering series Tidying Up hit our screens in the New Year and made everyone want to clean out their lives - which was ideal timing considering everyone had just cluttered themselves up to the eyeballs at Christmas.
So I'm just asking everyone to think about it this year before it happens.
Stop and ask yourself:
• Will this be used?
• Will it last?
• How long will it be used for?
If you're comfortable with your answers, then go for it.
Obviously you can't ensure every gift is the best thing ever and gets used for a lifetime without breaking, but it's at least a good start.