The countdown to Christmas day seems to start earlier each year and marketing messages seducing us to purchase goodies and gifts are well and truly out to get us. Food Standards Scotland have given us a lens on marketing of (discretionary) snack foods report which is scary enough, but Christmas must be the promotion pinnacle of the year!

Let’s think about advent calendars….which have got bigger and brighter year after year and offer us lots of so-called ‘treats’ including Craft Beers, Chocolate whisky, Gins, Advent drams, Prosecco, Wine down advents. Or for those with a need for solid calorie calendars, there are Gourmet marshmallows, Cupcake, pots of sweeties, pork crackling, dark chocolate and liquorice.

An interesting study in the BMJ demonstrated a weight gain of about 400g over Christmas and we hear that 3000 calorie dinners are not so unusual (that’s before we get to the booze). It isn’t so much the calories or indeed the amount of alcohol that is of concern but the way we all find ourselves supporting cultures of consumption. Children and adults struggle daily with our obesogenic environment and some struggle big time which we seem to respond to by offering another chocolate (or prosecco, gin..etc).  Sometimes we need to stop and think just how kind our gifts are?

For alternative gifts see some our Christmas giving ideas:

6 healthy gifts to bring to a party

4 gift ideas that can make a change

6 healthy gift ideas for your workplace

4 alcohol free gift ideas for any occasion

Gift ideas to unwind, nourish and motivate

But there are #alternativeadvent ideas too, some of which can help rebalance some of the stresses of Christmas at little cost. We will be doing daily tweets on little ideas of kindness for you reader and those around you. We have festive exercises to do whilst the kettle comes to boil, herbal teas for regaining calm, family games, alcohol free drinks and mocktails, fruit and veg nibbles and a wee prompt for sleep. All our ideas are also available in our very own advent calendar (see pic above).

We also have some posters of these available… just contact us for more details.

Indulge in December, especially in those feel good reminders and be kind to others – please feel free to share our #alternativeadvent ideas.

Merry Christmas,

Annie Anderson SCPN Co-Director

Images: Unsplash & SCPN