Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks

I head out tomorrow back to Colorado for Thanksgiving and this will be my one time out for the holidays, as I'll be skipping the Christmas holiday break and staying in California. I think it makes sense as Thanksgiving is more about getting together and showing gratitude to those close to us and those who matter. I'll be taking a few days off from blogging, though I may be sneaking in a post if inspiration strikes.

Since I'll most likely be watching endless hours of "Food Network" as my way of relaxing (a treat in moderation) or stuck entranced in a "Law and Order" marathon, I wanted to put out a pre-post Thanksgiving post. It's interesting that while Thanksgiving day is about giving thanks, the next day is the start of the holiday shopping season where the focus is on giving stuff.

I've alluded in my posts the link between consumption and it's impact on the environment. It's not just the energy in making the stuff, it's all the impact of disposing it, transporting it, packaging it, marketing it. A lot goes on, and I know that much of the current economy is based on that model. But if we want to go Carbonfree, we need to rethink how we show our love and caring during this season.

The best way to rethink, is to literally RE-think, or RE-member gifts from the past. Think about in seasons past what things have given you the most happiness. It probably wasn't always what you thought it would be. It's also a good time to ask your loved ones, not "What do you want for Christmas?" but "What presents in the past have you really enjoyed?" since it'll give you an idea of how to give gifts that matter to them over the long run, not just what's in their mind today.

I'm going to close on a somewhat tacky note, and that's the idea of RE-gifting. Is there anything that you have that you don't use anymore that's in really good condition. An iPod that doesn't get used much, or a video game that sits in the closet, or even a non-electronic gift like an old backgammon set. Consider giving those away to those who will use them.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


At 8:15 AM , Blogger Green Bean said...

Great post! I agree about how we should think about gifts and Christmas. When I look back at Christmases past, I hardly remember specific presents at all. The only one I can remember from my childhood is a Dr. kit that my uncle, a doctor, made for me and put in cardboard box that he had painted and decorated with a red tape cross and the letters EMERGENCY. Everything else is a blur - which means I could have happily survived without it. I do remember baking cookies with my mom, decorating the tree, singing Christmas carols - all that kind of stuff. Let's aim for a Christmas along those lines. If you haven't read it, Bill McKibbon's One Hundred Dollar Holiday is a great place to look for re-visioning how we celebrate.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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