While the approach of Christmas definitely has it good bits (I love a mince pie and have never got over my crush on Noddy Holder…). The excess, waste and pile of crap you feel you might have to get for your nearest and dearest however is not so appealing….a few tips from us at NukuNuku from how we are trying to change our Christmas this year….
Secret Santa from the Chazzer – My extended family have agreed to do a Secret Santa for the adults – books from the charity shops. Used this app to draw the names and boss them into it DrawNames via WhatsApp. Easy Peasy and feel very virtuous now having given my Christmas spends to Oxfam and Amnesty in North Laine.
Gig! Extended family all go out together – great idea from a friend, all 3 generations (including 72 year old Auntie) going to see The Killers together in Southampton. Making memories not landfill!!!! Genius.
Buy Quality like NukuNuku Haramaki that are built to last for years, keeping their shapes and made in the UK from the best quality cotton. When your fabrics do come to the end of their life make sure you recycle them and they can go onto be turned into clothes again or as sofa stuffing etc. We take ours to H&M where we get a £5 voucher for each bag of waste fabrics.
Shop Social – find Social Enterprises that are using their profits to do good. Like our friends at Seabirds! They got into the Social Enterprise UK’s Christmas Gift Guide this year and we at NukuNuku are supporting their ‘Give Presents With Purpose this Christmas’ campaign.
“It couldn’t be easier to give PresentsWithPurpose and really make a difference to people’s lives this Christmas, simply by buying your gifts from a social enterprise – whether that’s coffee providing jobs for people experiencing homelessness to luxury skincare supporting people with disabilities” Please share the gift guide with your friends and encourage them to buy social and give presents with purpose this year!
Now over to you – your tips and suggestions please!
A guest post from Seabirds who stock NukuNuku Haramaki in their Wild Swim Shop:
Who are the Seabirds? We are two sea swimmers heading into our 3rd winter of cold water swimming. We loved the positive impact on our mental and physical health, the sense of community and the ‘play’ of cold water dipping. We wanted to spread the swim love but we didn’t want to be a charity reliant on the vagaries of grants and funding. So we formed Seabirds Ltd and we opened our online Wild Swim Shop. The aim being that we sell high quality swim stuff and profits fund our ‘Wellbeing and Water” courses. Our swim group – Salty Seabirds‘ is currently at over a 1000 members (thankfully they do not all turn up for a swim at once!)
Of course it can really bloody cold in the sea and on the beach as we get changed. The haramaki – or core-warmer as we call it to keep it simple with those new to the idea – as proved invaluable post swim. Mostly (but not exclusively) women, the Salty Seabirds’ fingers tend towards the totally numb in the depths of winter. This is not time for bras. Pulling on a core-warmer is much easier and more effective at warming us up. We can use it to hide our boobs when getting changed on the beach (should we feel the need – most don’t care!)
All profits from Seabirds’ Wild Swim Shop go towards more courses supporting people to get into the sea for their mental wellbeing. When you buy from us you are helping people who need the solace of the sea find it! As we come up to Christmas please think of shopping from social enterprises such as ours so your gift gives twice. Check out our ‘Gifts for Swimmers‘ section for all your swimmy friends and Share the Swim Love 🙂
Cath and Kath Seabird xxx
Core-Warmer reviews from Seabirds’ Website:
I swear by these in the winter – makes a huge difference. Really helps you warm up quicker after a swim. I wear mine ALL THE TIME 🙂 (Elaine, Cumbria)
A small thing that makes a big difference. An essential peice of kit to help you warm up quickly after swim. Lovely quality and a good price. (Samantha, Brighton)
I was sceptical at first but now I swear by these. They can make all the difference when warming up after getting out of the water. Great for period pain too! Shove a mini hot water bottle in there…fantastic. (Sarah)
Sceptical and think you don’t need one? You may be if you haven’t yet tried them (but you will be hooked when you do!) You can test it out by tying a scarf round your waist to try the effect. Soon you will see that having the core of your body insulated raises your body temperature all over. This is because the inner organs are warm, increasing your circulation, which spreads heat all over your body, even to the toes and fingers:
Vascular surgeon Eddie Chaloner (in the Daily Mail).’When the limbs are exposed to colder temperatures than the torso, blood vessels in the arms and legs constrict. Blood then bypasses the limbs and floods to the torso. Being wrapped around the stomach will help the body to maintain its core temperature so that it doesn’t lose heat.’
So basically, warm your core to warm you all over. You can wear them over or under your clothes and you need a snug fit.
Our Haramaki will help you maintain an overall warmer body temperature and so suit anyone who needs extra warmth – those who work or play outdoors in all seasons from gardeners to sea swimmers, those who need to keep warm and stretchy such as pole dancers, aerial athletes, yoga practitioners etc. They are great for health problems such as period pain, back ache, chronic fatigue, Raynauds etc etc.
PS. Two recent comments on one of our Facebook Ads suggest that a vest would have exactly the same effect (thanks ladies!). Are they are better than a vest? Yes! Here is why – because they don’t show through your clothes (unless you want them to), they don’t ride up like vests can, they extend down to cover more of you where you want it and you don’t feel like you are wearing too many layers. And key point (especially for those of us women in the merry perimenopause) is that you take them off easily when you get too hat and without stripping right down! Vests are great, haramaki are even better 🙂
Earlier this summer I was attending Camp Abyss with some of my favourite people in the world, close family and oldest of friends. Hot and exposed in the field for 3 days we needed to cool off and get wet. I turned to my new favourite discovery I have banged on about before the Wild Swim Map and the Wild Guide and found Wallers Haven was our nearest swim spot to the field.
It is a little difficult to match the spot on the road to the description given. However, we parked on the side of the (very fast) road and waited for a gap in the traffic and headed over to the bridge to investigate. We took the most difficult route in which turned into a battle with nettles and one of our party almost falling down the side into the river. Don’t do that as there is a ‘proper’ access by path a bit further up the road each way!
We walked on until we round the concrete jetty described in the map. It is a beautiful spot. Peaceful and surrounded by countryside. Weeping Willow trees dangling down over the silky water surface of the river. Minerally (?) tasting water refreshingly cold in the heat of the day. My first river swim! Having been stung by nettles almost falling in the river and spotting a ‘snake’ on the surface of the water one of our party stated that they were just there to watch. However….it was inviting enough to get all of us in having fun. This is despite our varying levels of confidence and anxiety about being out our depths etc. Some stuck to the edges for a quick float, others dived and jumped in and generally messed about. A lovely spot. Much fun. We all returned to the festival invigorated, energised and happier. I highly recommend. Take your haramaki – you will need it whatever the weather after the cold water. Keep that core warm and the rest will follow 🙂