More merry and less madness this holiday
In my alter-ego role over on The Green Parent, I’m hosting the third annual holiday post for the Green Moms Carnival (www.organicmania.com/ green-moms-carnival).
As a group, we have covered almost every aspect of greening the holidays over the years, so we decided to do something different with this year’s holiday carnival. Our theme, Holidays Without the Hoopla, will include posts about keeping the holidays simple to handmade gift and decoration ideas. It’s definitely worth a look.
As for me, here’s what I’m doing to minimize the hoopla for my holidays:
Reevaluate everything. Every year, I go into the holidays with some sort of plan. It’s not set in stone; it’s just a general idea of gift ideas, holiday traditions to enjoy, recipes to try, and so on. But this year is a little different. While I still have a general plan in my head, I’m making a concentrated effort to reevaluate everything from attending the annual cookie exchange to decorating my home, to see if it still fits with my desire to avoid the madness of the season. Just this past weekend, my girls and I decided to skip the pictures and visit with Santa in lieu of making (and eating) cookies at home. We had fun, felt festive and shared special time together without the anguish of waiting in line at the mall or shelling out tons of cash for a cheesy 5by-7 photo.
Skip the holiday cards. In the past I have sent out e-cards to my wired friends and a handful of ponyexpress cards to friends and family who are still offline. But in this age of Facebook, YouTube and blogs, I just don’t think my annual holiday card is necessary. Friends and family around the world already know about my family’s major moments for 2010, and they’ve already seen the most recent pictures of my kids that I posted just a few weeks ago. So I officially will take a pass on holiday cards this year and spend those hours doing other holiday things, or maybe just kicking back and relaxing with my family.
Give back. I know it sounds cliche to say that I’m making sure to give back this holiday season, but I am — and I’m really enjoying it. Just ask my Girl Scout troop. Every year we do a number of service projects together as a group, particularly around the holidays. This year we have been cramming in service projects every which way we can — from holiday food drives over the weekend to making blankets for the local women’s shelter and writing holiday cards to soldiers on school nights. Now more than ever it seems that there are many people in need, and many of those people are right in my own community. It’s a no-brainer for me to use my time and effort to help, and I’m glad the girls in my troop seem to agree.
So far, I have to say that this holiday season has been more relaxed, more festive, more fun and less harried than ever before. Jenn Savedge has written three books on eco-friendly living.