When a pile of compost is the perfect gift: Parents embrace sustainable Christmas

Nicola Pellegrini, who grew up in Britain and always had a white Christmas as a child, brought her four-year-old twins into the city from the Northern Beaches for the event.

“This obviously doesn’t happen at Christmas in the UK,” she said, as she wrapped red raffia around a garland of fresh eucalyptus leaves.

Children make seed bombs at the Royal Botanic Garden’s Santa Studio workshop on Wednesday.Credit:Flavio Brancaleone

“I think it’s a very unique Australia experience, the outdoorsy stuff at Christmas. We have come into the city especially for this. It just builds the excitement … and it’s good to see things open up again after COVID.”

Tess Jones, from the garden’s education team, said her team tried to teach children about sustainability through the activities they organised, as well as about gardening, plants and wildlife.

“We creatively champion these themes in everything we do with the kids, and parents value the educational experience as well as the craft,” she said.

“[Parents] are looking for opportunities to connect their kids with nature, particularly after the impact of lockdowns over the past few years.”

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Teacher Kelly Pisani, from Concord West, said she would use the craft ideas at home with her three children, aged 5 to 11, as well as at work. “Things like this are so good,” she said. “It’s hands-on, it’s outside, and it’s so engaging for them.”

While the Santa’s Studio workshops have sold out, the garden has other holiday activities planned for children this week and into the school holidays.

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