Christmas, they say, is all about the kids – and the kids want climate action. So here are five ways to do this Christmas differently…

What do all the kids want for Christmas this year? It could be the latest gadget or this year’s must-have toy – but there’s one thing millions of young people have been crying out for all over the world this year. And that’s climate action.
This is the gift they want so much, that they’ll walk out of class for it. Take to the streets for it. Shout at the tops of their voices for it…

Schoolchildren Jesse and Isaac from Malawi demand action at the London Climate Strikes.

So parents, grandparents, carers and all other grown-ups of Christmases past, present and future – let’s make some little changes to give our children the most climate-friendly festive season ever.
Not sure where to start? We can help…

1. Make recycled decorations

A family doing crafts

Foil and glitter cards and wrapping cannot generally be recycled, but we all end up accumulating them over the festive period. Why not use any you have tucked away in drawers for a creative project making recycled tree decorations?
Cut out stars, snowflakes and other festive shapes from card, and string them together as garlands. And if you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, you can find lots of creative DIY decoration tutorials on Pinterest.

2. Upcycle your stockings

Scissors and string for making a stocking

Take a very chill alternative to battling the crowds to find shop-bought Christmas stockings. Light the fire, cosy up and use the time instead to make your own from recycled fabric using a simple stocking pattern.
Old pillowcases and duvet covers are made from really durable material – perfect for a revamp as a Christmas stocking. (We used them during Second Hand September to make recycled tote bags – they’re brilliant). Or you can give your stocking that festive feel by refashioning outgrown kids Christmas jumpers.
Not a dab-hand with needle and thread? If you have a hot glue gun, you’ll find lots of tutorials online showing you how to make a no-sew version.

3. Stocking fillers, not land fillers

Finding lots of little things to fill stockings can not only be time consuming, it’s where you can end up buying a lot of stuff that feels a bit throwaway. But you can fill stockings in a way that is kind to people and planet – and with 15 minutes browsing Oxfam’s online shop you can get it all wrapped up…

Make your chocolate coins and other treats Fairtrade – and help cocoa farmers to earn a decent living and invest in the next harvest.

Chocolate coins and stars

Buying toys and games second hand reduces your environmental impact, and you can find some really special, unique ideas. Things like traditional vintage toys, action figures, travel sized puzzles and plush teddy bears can be found in tip-top condition.

Second hand toys

Our Sourced By Oxfam range includes lots of beautiful stocking fillers for under £5, made by our partners who share our values, put people before profit and take a planet conscious approach.

Sourced by Oxfam gifts

Our range of Oxfam Unwrapped charity gift cards also make thoughtful stocking fillers – you can even buy one that gives Help For Farmers Facing Climate Change.

Fight climate change gift card

And if you’re planning on taking part in the Christmas Eve box trend, our ethical and sustainable treats that can go in those too.

4. Give the gift of memories

Kids sleepover

You can reduce some of the impact that comes with buying physical gifts, by looking out for experiences, tickets and days out for the children to enjoy instead.

And there are lots of money saving ways you can give memories too – get creative and make Christmas vouchers as a simple way to promise some quality time, whether it’s a sleepover with friends, an afternoon kick-about or a movie night.

And they work both ways – children can use them to pledge to do something nice for grown-ups or siblings, whether it’s breakfast in bed or picking up a hated household chore.

5. Give a gift to the future

Baby JuliusAmaasom’s baby Julius lies in the shade while his mother and aunties sow soya beans. In the region of Garu, northern Ghana, climate change had a huge impact on families’ harvests, their food and their livelihoods. With a solar-powered pump and drought-resilient seeds, life is different now. Photo: Nana Kofi Acquah/Oxfam


By making a donation to support an environmental cause, you can give a gift that will last months and years after you’ve sorted your Christmas recycling – building a better world for generations to come.
There are lots of ways you can make a difference.

This year, our Green Christmas appeal highlights the ways we can help some of the poorest people in the world hit hardest by climate change with simple but powerful solutions. Just watch these school children from Garu explain how a solar powered water pump has made lush, green crops grow for their families…


Helping more families to enjoy a Green Christmas could be a really poignant way to top off your own. And if you have a little downtime on Christmas Day, explore this 360 immersive experience to see the difference you can make.

These are just a few ideas – if you have any top tips for an eco-friendly festive season please share them using the hashtag #GreenChristmas

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