This month in the Western World, Christmas is celebrated…one of my favorite times of the year… I love being cozy at home with my friends and family, sipping on a steaming cup of Yogi Tea doing a puzzle, and driving around town enjoying the lights and farolitos (New Mexican tradition).
Although I love all of the coziness this season brings, I’m finding it increasingly challenging to be part of all of the buying that is such a part of this holiday. I’m writing the week of Thanksgiving, and already, I find that I must resist the lure of Christmas music in the store and the urge to consume things that I know that I nor anyone else actually needs. The volume of commercialism is overwhelming in our country and it takes a very strong person to resist the urge to over-buy.
In the past, I’ve spent hours shopping, wrapping gifts and, while I absolutely love gift-giving, I’ve come to realize that this isn’t how I want to spend my time this December.
I’m, at heart, and above all, an environmentalist. I love green, open space, clean air and pristine water. I want this for me, my children, and all of the world. When I lie in bed at night, thinking about the mass of plastic toys, gadgets, and sweaters that are created, the pollution that is expelled from the production process, the oil it takes to get them to us, and the packaging that must be discarded, it’s dizzying (and nauseating).
As much as I love giving and receiving gifts, I know that most of what I give and receive is not something that is actually needed by either party. Do we really NEED another sweater from Aunt Martha or scented candle from a co-worker? I just gave away bags of items from around my house, most of them gifts that I’ve received over the years.
I’m not trying to paint a ‘grinchy’ picture around gifting and the holidays but hoping to inspire other ways of expressing our love and appreciation for our loved ones while also considering your impact on our community and environment.
So….this is how we’ll be spending our holiday season…. we’re cooking at the warming shelter in Santa Fe, cleaning our community kitchen, and I’ll be gifting my office staff with lunch at my house. I’m looking forward to my holiday puzzle with my family, some gluten-free gingerbread and some skiing on Christmas Day.
Wishing you and yours a fabulous holiday season. Let me know which holiday traditions you and your family have that support your budget,the environment and our community. We’d all love to hear from you!
As always, sending you and the planet healing prayers,
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