With Thanksgiving behind us and now officially in December, we are certainly in the thick of the holiday season. My family always makes fun of me for being a scrooge as I loudly and repeatedly state throughout December, “I hate Christmas!” My statement is especially cantankerous when I overhear Christmas music in public places in November. Don’t get me wrong, I love the family time, delicious food, happy moods, and the other altruistic parts of the season. It’s the consumerism that ruins it for me. I love giving; I don’t love feeling obligated to purchase something for everyone I know, hearing on NPR what the retail market feels the buying power of “consumers” will be this season, and other crazy-talk such as people getting mowed over to get into certain enormous multinational corporations.
However, I’m beginning to try to embrace the season again with a new frame of mind. Instead of being ill-tempered throughout the last month of the year, I want to enjoy the cool weather and change in seasons; utilize the additional time spent inside by reading, craft-making, knitting, kitty cuddling and learning new skills; enjoy making useful gifts for my loved ones; and maybe even listen to one of the only Christmas songs I like: “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. (I’m always the gray cloud.)
Luckily, I feel that I have lots of support in this relearning process. I’ve come across so many folks that feel the same way I do: Consumption has gotten way out of hand, and it’s time to take a step back. The Internet is littered with inspirational ways to have a handmade, waste-free holiday! I loved this article from Apartment Therapy about keeping it green during the holidays. Also, check out Adbusters’ Buy Nothing Christmas, which encourages celebrating non-material joy, inner peace, avoiding stress and saving money during the holiday season. A simple google search will yield hundreds of ideas for a green holiday season!