Monday, November 26, 2007

Green For The Holidays

Even as we still snack on leftover Thanksgiving turkey, the "other" holiday has quickly dodged in to bombard us with advertisements, guilt trips, and admonishments to consume. For the sake of brevity, I'll call this holiday "Xmas."

At Xmas time, familiar carols are tolled from the television, with lyrics replaced with repeating "Duh" because we'd be stupid not to buy a Honda. Teenagers place flyers for X-boxes on their car windows to beg for gifts. And Wal-Mart reminds us that it's low, low prices will allow you to buy the luxury of a Sony flat-screen TV, because nothing brings family together like staring at the idiot box instead of having a conversation or a snowball fight.

Do you sense my frustration with these representations of "buy, buy, buy!"? I like presents as much as the next person, but I also like just spending time with my husband, sitting at home, listening to the classical radio broadcast of carols, having hot cider or cocoa while we pet the cats. I love going to my in-laws' house for dinner, sitting with my father-in-law on the couch and talking. I love taking drives through Orient Heights to look at the light displays.

This year, due to our decrease in available income, I'm going to drastically cut back on gift expenditures, and I'm really planning on doing things in a more environmentally friendly way. I had already decided not to use wrapping paper (it's non-recyclable), opting for newspaper, or gift bags made out of cloth (I have a pile of fabric saved for making these). Now I'm thinking about things I can offer that I've made myself, or things I can do to help others.

For example, my friend Margaret often gives me a ride to our association meetings, or drops me home. The other week she brought us some farm share vegetables, and when we noticed we were running late, she took us into Cambridge, since she was going that way. In return for her kindness, this weekend, Nate and I cleaned her car for her. It didn't cost that much (just quarters for the vacuum and hose at the car wash), and it will be a huge help to her to actually have a backseat again. It's a gift that didn't require a trip to the mall, or wrapping paper.

Another gift I'm going to work with is baked goods. I love to make bread and cookies, and that's another thing I don't have to shop for.

I have read about people who are using the holidays to "push the environmental agenda," and I would point out, I'm not trying to be the "Grinch." I just want to be able to give something to people to show that I care for them without hurting my savings, and if I can do it by being green, so much the better.

1 responses:

andyamo said...

Duh campaign = Hyundai. I think it's obnoxious as well.

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