On the Seventh Day of Christmas…

Christmas Sustainable Living Transition University of St Andrews Zero Waste

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love(s) pledged to me 7 ways to appreciate the gift of time

Definitely one lesson I have taken away from the pandemic in 2020 is how little free time we each have in our everyday lives. In lockdown, people were either joyed to be getting on with hobbies and spending more time at home with family and friends. Others weren’t sure what to do with themselves! In both instances it is important to recognise the “gift of time”, both of our own well-being and connecting with others.

Big Dreams, Little Footprints, a local group focused on teaching sustainability, urge us to use the gift of time over material presents this festive period:

Less stuff, less waste, better memories

Big Dreams, Little Footprints

For this 12 Days of Christmas entry, we suggest 7 gifts of time based on the following 5 pillars of happiness. The first pillar sums encompasses it all: Give to others!

Connect with People 

1) Compile a list of questions that a relative or favourite aunt/uncle has to answer, in writing or via video message (or in person!), that encourages them to tell stories about their lives 

2) Build a den and tell tales from your own childhood 

Be physically active 

3) Take a walk and compete to be the first to spot flowers, trees, wildlife etc (the more rare it is, the higher the points) and include fun things like ‘a person in a red top’ 

4) Borrow a dog and take it for a walk – especially fun if you don’t have one on your own 

Learn new skills 

5) learn something new together like yoga, astronomy, photography, dancing, woodwork or knitting 

6) Try some abstract art using waste materials like pen lids, bottle tops, sweet wrappers 

Pay attention to the present moment 

7) Go star gazing with friends or family and talk about the wonders of space together. For the new year, the observatories in St Andrews and Dundee offer public nights