22 December 2013

Best Wishes for an Excesslessly Festive Season

The Brussel sprout Christmas tree
that becomes dinner
I have to admit, I enjoy the holiday season, and always have. Won't apologize for that. I think it's because I have a much younger sister and found myself enjoying keeping the Christmas spirit alive for her as she was growing up. 

We're still a fairly tightly-knit family, and it's still a special family time for us, though we've had our share of Hollywood-style Christmas dinner dramas, for sure. My heart definitely goes out to those who don't like this time of year due to family problems, loneliness, poverty or illness.

But when I read that the average North American (adult?) will spend $800 this holiday season, my first reaction was to almost throw up. My second reaction was to question the source. My third reaction was to laugh. 

That's because the joy in my gift-giving stems from spending next to nothing! I love finding things around my home or secondhand gifts at our local thrift shop (where all the proceeds go back into the community) that are perfect for each person on my list. Then I wrap them in newspaper, decorate the packages with drawings of holly leaves, and celebrate spending next to nothing. And this year, many of my loved ones have a donation to relief work in the Philippines in their name.

Thought experiment. When the climate change $#@! hits the fan and we have to go back (cuz we haven't moved forward) to a pre-consumeristic economy, and all the new "stuff" is no longer available, and most people are desperately trying to grow their own food (like in the olden days), what will gift giving look like then? How long could the circular economy (of regiving) survive? Just something to think about.

I hope the holiday season is lavishly kind to you in spirit this year — without material excess.

Blessed be.

The Rebel Jesus, by Jackson Browne

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?