It’s beginning to look a lot like……… oh well, come on, it IS!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and quite a bit like Yule, Hanukkah and Saturnalia too!  

The Art House Southampton CIC

Whatever your feeling about this time of the year, the festive season is starting to get rather close.

With less than a month to go, we are now putting up some sparkly decorations, getting out the handmade goodies to sell, and thinking about some suggestions for how we can all have a very lovely, green, ethical and alternative Christmas (or Yule, or ….whatever you celebrate!).

1) Buy and give Handmade

Not only are handmade gifts 252% more splendid for those who recieve them, according to a figure we just plucked out of our heads, but they support local crafters, too.  Shopping for locally hand crafted things supports those in your own community, little businesspeople and creative elves who make lovely things.

2) Buy and give Recycled

We don’t see any problem with things that have been loved before, being reused.  This saves piling up landfill sites with waste at one end, and the resources used to manufacture new things at the other.  Plus, secondhand and ‘upcycled’ things are often cheaper, too.

We can help you with both of these, as we stock a great selection of locally made crafts, pre-loved clothes (including an array of special sparkly partywear) and things made from recycled materials.

Take a looky at the incredibly affordable range of knitwear and textiles made specially for us by Tools for Self Reliance, with 65% of the proceeds going to the Charity (and the other 35% after VAT supporting The Art House).  Gifts with some seriously good karma.  We also recommend getting yourself along to the Bits and Bobs CraftsSouthampton Community Crafts Fair on 8 December at the Third Age Centre.

3) Don’t buy at all!

There is a real pressure to spend money we don’t have at this time of year, but there are all sorts of lovely ideas for gift-giving that don’t cost a penny.  We love these ideas from Buy Nothing Christmas.

4) Have yourself a very Veggie Christmas

OK, we get that you may not be up for this altogether, but why not try to make avegan or veggie dish for your midwinter table?  Meals which are free from animal products are better for the planet (meat and dairy production accounting for 70% of global freshwater consumption, 38% of the total land use and 19% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions according to a UN report in 2010).   It’s also a great way to try some yummy new recipes.  We’ve even included one of our TOP SECRET festive recipes at the bottom of this email for you to try.

Which reminds us – if you do get a turkey, please consider a free range, organic one.  Not only can you feel easier about the life the bird may have had, but we promise it will taste better (our omnivore crew all back this up!).

You could even really push the boat out and add trying out a vegan or veggie diet to your New Year’s resolution list 🙂  To help you, you can even use this link to take the Vegan one month pledge 🙂  If you do, please let us know how you get on!

5) Stay Happy

Remember to be kind to yourself, get lots of rest, eat well, stop for a nice cup of tea from time to time and …. well, you know all this stuff already, don’t you!

We hope you like these ideas, please share any others you have for an ethical, caring and green festive season. 

Our Christmas opening hours, offers & special events:-

Why not consider getting a Friends of The Art House card as a gift or for yourself?  With a 25% discount of food, drink, clothes and most events, it is a great way to save money and enable you to visit us more often.

Our latest Moving Voices CD, a recording of live performances of poetry and music, will be out soon.  Come along to the launch night on Friday 30 November and get yours!  The CDs will be on sale in the cafe all through December.  A lovely way to take a piece of The Art House home with you or give to somebody else.

Thursday 6 December
Festive Beading with Maureen from 7.30pm

Thursday 13 December 7.30pm
Transition Southampton Winter Social, 

with mince pies, mulled wine, a Mummers play and handmade workshops.  All welcome.

Late opening as usual every Wednesday – Saturday, the shop is open too 🙂

Saturday 22 December late opening with a laid back, pre-Christmas atmosphere, music and mulled things.

Our last day opening before Christmas will be Sunday 23 December 12 – 5pm.  We will re-open on Wednesday 2 January.  This year, we are taking a break from having a New Year’s party so that our crew can spend time with friends and family.  If you are a friend of The Art House, look out for the special friends gift to replace your usual free New Year’s Eve ticket soon.

Love, cake and glitter from all of us at The Art House

About arthousesouthampton

The Art House is a not-for-profit café, gallery and arts venue in the centre of Southampton. We are a place you can meet new people, meet up with friends or just come in by yourself. Our licensed café offers delicious organic lunches, Fairtrade tea and homemade cake. We also have a busy programme of events, workshops, and art exhibitions, a clothing and crafts boutique and lots more. Most of our crew are volunteers and you might even want to apply to join them. Come along and enjoy our unique, community run space.
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