In case anyone else out there is feeling overwhelmed by commercialism and haste, I thought I would share some tips for a more simplified Christmas; one which will allow room to celebrate the true meaning of the season and enjoy priceless time with the gifts we have already in our lives!
One of our favorite gifts from year to year is an amazing homemade salsa made by dear couple friends of ours. There's nothing like it! Last year I made a homemade, gourmet hot cocoa mix with real fair-trade chocolate, Rapadura, and organic milk powder.
One of my favorite web resources for Gifts in a Jar is this website. I enjoy the challenge of tweaking the recipes and making them more nourishing! More on that in a future post.
Plato's Closet is a for-profit company that encourages recycling by purchasing your old clothes and selling them. These clothes are all high quality name brands at a fraction of the cost. This is a great option for anyone who has a teenager or young adult on their list to shop for!
Ten Thousand Villages supports sustainable business in third world countries by selling the beautiful artisan crafts from around the world.
- Those random Holiday Bizarres you see advertised everywhere this time of year.
- Searching websites like the Sustainable Business Network.
- Shop Etsy and directly support many small-scale artisans.
4) Consider Unique Gifts with a Small Carbon Footprint:
Some of our favorite gifts are paperless, but at the same time support local organizations. If you are shopping for children who already have every toy they'd ever need, why not buy them a membership to your nearest zoo, science, or children's museum?
Tickets to a play, movie, sporting event, or concert are also welcome, but unique gifts. Gift certificates for massage, pedicures, facials will excite any woman on your Christmas list.
Perhaps a membership to a CSA would be a great family gift for you or a family on your list.
Ideas abound for making a more simple/green/thrifty Christmas celebration, yet the bigger question remains: how do we change our expectations for giving and receiving? This is a huge philosophical and spiritual question with which to ponder. Further, how do we raise children that don't have the expectation that they're always going to get tons of new things each year?
Currently, being "green" and simple is a choice many of us make on principle. Someday, it may not be an option.