These days, Christmas is a fabulous time of exuberant consumption and time spent with families. It is a holiday built on buying and selling. But, back to the old cliché, is this the real meaning of Christmas? No one knows for sure what the first Christmas was like, but we can guess that it involved joyful singing, being with family and remembering a person that came to Earth with a message of love, compassion and giving. This is the spirit of Christmas and, believe it or not, it is also pretty “green.”
One way we can be green at Christmas is by sharing food with each other. Real food, not things that come in packages that we need a bowie-knife to open. Food that we make together in our kitchens with our friends and families grown by farmers that have an interest in keeping their land healthy and thus ensuring its fecundity for years and generations to come.
Instead of a cheap packaged product from the store, how about a hand-made card, or a massage certificate or a hiking trip to a beautiful rain forest in the Pacific Northwest or your nearest state or national park. These are all gifts that feed lasting connections and leave less of an impact on our natural world and resource bases. In the end, they are probably more fun.
So turn off the tube, turn on the stove and enjoy the simplest gifts of connecting with your family and the earth that supports us.