Christmas – let’s keep it local this year

Being keen environmentalists, I’m sure you will already be thinking about how to enjoy a green Christmas. You will have ordered your recycled wrapping paper, e-cards and organic turkeys but what about the local element?

I have been thinking about how we all enjoy our local meals on a regular basis and often talk about needing to bring things down to community level. Then Halloween happened and I saw guising replaced with trick or treating, turnips replaced with pumpkins and localism went out the window.

So how can you enjoy a local Christmas?

I guess things don’t get any more local than your own home, so why not make your own presents this year? People always appreciate homemade jams and chutneys, hand-made knitting and sewing, home brews or even tablet and cakes. Do you have any interesting or particularly admired plants that you could split? If this isn’t your thing, why not give your time – offer to walk a friend’s dog for them, babysit or mow their lawn next year.

Then look around Falkirk. The wee farm shop has some great local honey at the moment and the West Carmuirs shop is the perfect place to get all the ingredients for your Christmas dinner (including potatoes grown in the field next to the farm). Remember to use local independent shops and support local charities (including the charity shops which are a real Aladdin’s cave of unusual gifts).

The next level up is Scotland of course and this opens up a lot more possibilities.

Why not enjoy Cairn O’Mohr wine on Christmas day rather than imported varieties ( I highly recommend the sparkling strawberry). For the women in your family, Scotland now has plenty of producers of beauty products (http://www.etsy.com/shop/missballantyne uses lots of organic ingredients and hand-blends her fresh products in small batches – containers can be returned for reuse too) and for men, Scotland has hundreds of whiskey’s to choose from or what about Larbert’s very own brewery. Talking of food, Scotland has a countless number of suppliers of cheese, biscuits, meat, fish...

I’m going to try and source all my gifts from Scotland this year, why don’t you join me?

Corrie Cuthbertson