Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Different Kind of Christmas?

My 25 year old son is a third grade teacher out in Telluride, Colorado. He is extremely aware of the affect our actions have on Mother Earth. He is very good with recycling and reusing. He told me the other day that he cringes whenever he has to throw anything in the garbage. His siblings call him a "tree hugger".

Well, my favorite little "tree hugger" sent me an e-mail yesterday and told me to watch the video on the website he sent. He said it was really eye-opening. When I got home from work, I went to the website and when the video started to play, I noticed that it was 20 minutes long!! Yikes, I didn't have 20 minutes to watch a video. I had work to do.....but this was my precious little boy asking his mom to watch something that was important to him...so of course, I watched. I am SO glad I did!

When he called later that night, we immediately started discussing the video. It was then that he informed me that he wants no gifts for Christmas this year. Okay, that didn't surprise me at all. He has made that request before, but I've never complied. This year, after watching "the video" I just might. In fact, I might be joining him in his effort.

The website is http://www.storyofstuff.com/. Feel free to check it out. The website and video talk about what we can do to make a difference in the world in regards to what we buy and how we dispose of things. In fact, it tells you where the materials for the things we buy come from, how they are turned into the things that we buy, how we buy things, how long the things we buy last and what happens when we dispose of things. Do you see the pattern here? Things....lots and lots of things. I don't want to make this so much about the video, you can watch it and draw your own conclusions. A lot of it I already knew, but the delivery of the info was what kept my attention.

Now, don't get me wrong...I love Christmas. I love it a lot. I love giving gifts. Heck, I love getting gifts...but every year after the hoopla is over Christmas morning, I always feel a bit guilty and almost sorry that we "went all out" once again. Maybe it's because we always end up using plastic for some of the gifts we buy or maybe it's just the letdown after all of the excitement of preparing for the big day. Maybe you can relate....maybe not. I don't remember if I ever felt that way when our kids were little....I don't think so....back then the excitement lasted long after Christmas morning....it usually lasted until the new toys were either no longer the latest and greatest or they were broken!

Our kids are adults. We open our gifts like adults, the gifts get packed into their cars and by that evening the only sign that there were gifts opened is the dog chewing lovingly on a new toy! So, anyway....this year I think I will talk to the rest of the family and see what they would think about not buying gifts for one another, and maybe doing something with that money that would have meaning long after Christmas morning. I'm not sure what that might be, but the possibilities are endless.

I'm thinking that this year really could be a different kind of Christmas at our house.

6 comments:

TheClackHouse said...

GREAT post! WAY better than my "Apron Post" LOL..very enlightening! KUDOS~

Chasity

Mary said...

really good post. i feel the same way. i don't think my family is ready to give it all up yet but we have cut way back from the days when my mom held the big day and the room was just filled with packages. we had to clean out our parents' houses last year....talk about stuff! we are still paying for storage as we slog through things we don't know what to do with. we've made endless trips to the dump, to the thrift stores, to the salvation army, spca, etc. and we still have mountains of....stuff. it's really eye opening and overwhelming!

carerelish said...

In my hubby's family there are 7 siblings, they all have kids and grand kids great grand kids so way to many to buy gifts for everyone. So they decided to pick a family to "adopt". The families are needy families in our area. They may have lost a job or one parent may be ill. Someone finds out what their greatest need is School cloths/supplies- food- rent whatever and everyone pitches in to get them what they need. I think that is the best gift we could give. Then we all get together for Christmas Day dinner.

carerelish said...

In my hubby's family there are 7 siblings, they all have kids and grand kids great grand kids so way to many to buy gifts for everyone. So they decided to pick a family to "adopt". The families are needy families in our area. They may have lost a job or one parent may be ill. Someone finds out what their greatest need is School cloths/supplies- food- rent whatever and everyone pitches in to get them what they need. I think that is the best gift we could give. Then we all get together for Christmas Day dinner.

Cattrix said...

This is a very good idea, I have thought about "things" for a long while.. and I joined FreeCycle which does make a difference in keeping still usable "things" out of our landfills.. We recycle big time, but we all need to reexamine long standing traditions that can be made less commercial, wasteful and greedy to more inclusive meaningful ones that benefit our spirits and souls with compassion for others,, Loved you post! :)

TERI REES WANG said...

Big THNX! ...for that recycling video.
All year long, and such so much waste.

I am even thinking about recycling some of my canvas art, just keep it going...on to the next thing with out wasting a thing. I use my left over house paint for my collages, and cut up all the magazines that get dropped off at my door.

I am also having a hard time watching "Top Design" on Bravo, knowing that all the paint and dry wall and fabrics are only used for sport, and not for living. It is hard to continue to be creative, when we already have some much stuff. How else can we feed that creative need? We can't eat it.

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