Have you ever received a gift that you don’t want to use for health or environmental reasons?

If that’s a YES, read on because in this post I’m going to share when you perhaps should bite your tongue on toxin free living, especially when it comes to your kids!



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Firstly I want to let you know just how excited my sons were about Mother’s Day this year, especially Master 6, Matthew.

Mother’s Day was discussed in great detail at his school last week and there was the opportunity to purchase gifts at a designated stall. He’d saved up his pocket money to buy me something special and it was obvious he was excited.

Last Thursday morning I woke to an excited boy jumping into my bed to give me a cuddle. He proudly showed me he was already dressed for school before racing into the kitchen for breakfast dragging his school bag behind him.

This is remarkable in itself; he’s a bit of a free spirit and getting him ready on time for school is often a battle…..but not today!! In fact, he was rousing on his younger brother to hurry up and not make him late!

When we arrived at school Matthew ran ahead and we ended up meeting him just outside his classroom. He wouldn’t let us in because he’d hid his Mother’s Day present in there and I wasn’t allowed to look.

Fast forward to Sunday …….. I was woken in the wee hours by two excited little boys smothering me with cuddles. Matthew quickly produced his gift – a hot pink plastic water bottle emblazoned with the message “Mum I Love You To The Moon And Back”.

He immediately asked me if I liked it, to which I replied. “Like it?? I LOVE it Matthew!! Pink is my favourite colour!”

Matthew beamed with pride.

Now, plastic is not my drink bottle of choice. Sure I’m a gym goer and I carry a bottle around with me most days, but I choose to drink from a stainless steel bottle for durability, taste (there’s nothing like the taste of ‘plastic’ water) and health reasons (phthalates anyone??).

Not long after the boys left the room my husband asked if I was going to keep and use the drink bottle given that it was full of endocrine disrupting chemicals (Paul is Mr Home Detox Boot Camp after all!).

“Where Matthew is concerned, of course!” I replied.

“Good”, Paul responded. “I should hope so”.

I remember Paul making a similar comment last year, when I received a pink travel pamper pack from Matthew containing shower gel and body lotion for Mother’s Day. The pack, also purchased from the school Mother’s Day stall, was a popular commercial brand (not organic or natural) and contained a suite of synthetic chemicals on the ingredients list including parfum/fragrance…… a known endocrine disruptor.

And true to my word back then, I used the pamper pack and told Matthew that his choice of gift was perfect.

At the same time, I won the Mother’s Day Hamper from our local Early Learning Centre which was packed to the brim with commercial body and beauty products (more than I’d ever need) and I chose to pass this gift on. After all, I wouldn’t be hurting anyone’s feelings by doing so. In fact, the opposite was the case!

At the time we were heading south to visit some family so I rang a women’s refuge shelter in Port Augusta and arranged to meet up with a staff member to hand the contents of the hamper over to her. It was accepted with wide open arms and much gratitude.

So, why am I sharing these stories?

Sometimes, when we get so hung up on living a clean, eco and healthy life, we can overlook the simple things that bring those around us joy.

When it comes to gifts, the joy is in the giving, not the receiving and there was no way I was going to burst the bubble of happiness, excitement and pride of my son on Mother’s Day.

Sure, some people might take the opportunity to give their child a lesson in chemistry and toxin-free living, but in this instance, I decided that the lesson could wait for another time.

The water bottle won’t become my number one drink bottle accompanying me on long walks, to yoga and the gym, but it will be present around our home for a while.

Matthew also gifted me some other presents this year, including some decorated wooden spoons and a QR code on a gift tag that led to personal video message of him saying what he loves most about me (you can watch it here) and he was keen to hear which gift I liked the best.

I was quick to tell him that I loved all of them, but I especially loved the QR Code message of him saying how he loved me because I cook delicious, healthy foods for him.

This was a gift of love after all, and made my heart explode. J

Has there been a time when you received a gift that you wouldn’t have chosen for yourself, or one you would generally avoid for health or environmental reasons, which you graciously accepted and used anyway? Do share!