Each of our lives is our message. What message do you want to convey this holiday season? Holidays are often stressful. This year in particular, with so many people struggling financially, the stress may be even greater. But you can convey whatever message you want this holiday. You can reject the pressure to buy more and more stuff, and make beautiful and delightful holiday gifts instead. Here are a few suggestions for homemade gifts:
- baked goods and preserves
- potted cuttings from favorite plants
- a poem or a painting
- a treasure hunt for children with a family heirloom as the prize
- coupon gifts such as a back rub a week or doing the dishes for the designated dishwasher for a month or the cooking for the designated cook
Shifting our way of thinking around the holidays toward modeling our message allows us to embody what we want to create in the world, but we also must work for systemic change. As long as the purchase of more and more overpackaged, toxic, sweatshop-produced, disposable, resource-depleting stuff is the norm, our individual choices will be drops in the proverbial bucket.
But when we work to change the systems so that the holidays are less about things and more about love, kindness, and joy, we help create a world in which we aren’t faced with unhealthy pressures each December. One organization, Redefining Christmas, is working to create change in how we perceive the holiday season. This site urges people to give donations to a loved one’s favorite charity as a gift.
What can you do to help change the system? Might you write a letter to the editor? Write a comment on a blog? Speak out at your religious institution?
You’ll find lots of suggestions for changemaking in Most Good, Least Harm, but for now, consider a small step toward redefining the holidays toward meaningful acts of generosity and goodness.