The happiest time of the year is just around the corner, and this year, we're keen to get back into celebrations. After lockdowns forcing people everywhere to retreat from the usual traditions, this Christmas is set to be an all-out celebration. And the good news is that these days it's easier than ever to revel in the joys of Christmas as a vegan.
By Sascha Camilli: writer, speaker, activist, and vegan fashion expert.
If you're hosting the celebrations this year, seize the great opportunity to show your guests how tasty, stylish and enjoyable a vegan Christmas can be by offering up the very finest in festive food and fashion – and decorating your home to match. Leading by example is one of the best ways to get people on our side in a cause, and showcasing the very best in vegan living will without a doubt open many eyes and hearts.
Mix traditional recipes with some new inventions
Nut roasts are great, and one should definitely be at the centre of your Christmas table. But as much as this is the season of keeping traditions alive, Christmas can also be a time of experimentation. Introduce your guests to tofu, tempeh and the huge variety of legumes and vegetables that vegan cuisine offers. The reason for this is simple: your family may be used to traditional flavours, and while they may find vegan pigs in blankets absolutely delicious, they are certain to compare them to “the original”. With unique vegan dishes, you're breaking new ground, without the stress of measuring up to something.
Watch out for animal-derived clothing
The cold season is well upon us, and with it, we vegans see the return of most of our wardrobe dilemmas: it's the prime season for fabrics such as wool, leather, and fur. Luckily, there are also more vegan wardrobe options than ever. This season, make your winter wardrobe shine by opting for vegan knitwear in organic cotton, Tencel and bamboo, as well as festive dresses in natural, sustainable vegan fabrics. When choosing your Christmas look, don't miss the chance to collect compliments and respond with “thanks, it's vegan!” and proceed to sing the praises of cruelty-free fashion.
Decorate without cruelty
Vegan home décor is an area that's just gaining ground, trailing slightly behind food, beauty and fashion. But as vegans, it's our duty to ensure all areas of our lives are as cruelty-free as they can be – so this winter, warm your home with candles free from beeswax (opting for soy wax instead) and keep your space cosy by adding throws made from faux fur instead of the real deal. Add a touch of personality to your abode with sustainably made blankets in cotton and linen rather than wool, for a home that exudes comfort without cruelty.
Choose kind beauty
The winter holidays are the time of year when most of us turn the volume up on our makeup to experiment with shimmers, glitters, and sparkling hues. Exploring new fragrances and winding down with restorative, protective skincare is also part of the winter beauty routine – but make sure that the products you choose aren't tested on animals. Learn what cruelty-free and vegan beauty is, what the different certifications are, and take comfort in knowing that everything you purchase on Immaculate Vegan will always be free from both animal testing and animal-derived ingredients.
Christmas has been described as the most wasteful time of the year, with hundreds of thousands of miles' worth of wrapping paper being thrown away, and food waste being at an all-time high. Don't contribute to the destruction: make sure all food gets eaten (remember to not overdo it with the food prep in the first place, and only buy what you know you and your guests will eat); and opt for recycled paper or newspaper as gift wrapping – if you even need to wrap gifts at all. Check out our top tips for avoiding waste around Christmas, and enjoy a happy, merry, sustainable holiday time.
By Sascha Camilli
For 100% vegan gift ideas, check out our Immaculate Gift Guides.
Sascha Camilli is the founder of the world's first digital vegan fashion magazine, Vilda Magazine and the host of fashion podcast Catwalk Rebel. She was selected as one of Glamour UK's Most Empowering Nu-Gen Activists and is a frequent public speaker on the topic of vegan fashion and material innovation. Her book Vegan Style is out now on Murdoch Books. For more about Sascha, read our interview with her.
Cover image by The Morphbag
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