Peace on Earth

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! Also, Year-End-Greetings and Happy New Year

When I was a young adult, I did not understand my parents’ lack of enthusiasm regarding the holiday season that, back in those days, stretched from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Now that I am the grandmother of a half dozen young adults, I get it. Maybe my parents were on to something. Is it time to re-think the holiday season?

The expectations coming at us from multiple sources can leave us exhausted. Nowadays, we are bombarded with persistent marketing efforts from shortly after Labor Day through the start of the next year. Perhaps it is time to re-think the Holiday Season.

We are told what, where and when to buy gifts the recipient may or may not want – that we may or may not be able to afford without increasing our personal debt load. But wait, there’s more. We are also expected to decorate our homes inside and out, prepare foods guaranteed to add more pounds than most of us need, don special apparel, and participate in an endless series of social events at work, among friend, with our neighbors and for every organization in which we maintain a membership. It can definitely be exhausting.

The Earth Groans

Lately I’ve read and heard more alarming wake-up calls from scientists and earth-keepers who study and report the problematic impact we humans have on the natural world. I am becoming increasingly concerned about this annual fourth quarter mania we’ve created is wreaking havoc on the world. Ironically, all this stems from efforts centuries ago to establish a December celebration of the Christ child breaking into the bleak world to counter the long, dreary nights in the Northern hemisphere. We’ve turned an event established to remember God’s grace and hope for all creation into a frenzied gluttony of excesses that are increasingly causing catastrophic problems.

Call me Scrooge or a Grinch, but I think it’s time to re-assess this whole fourth quarter marathon whether we call it the holiday or the Christmas season. I recently learned a quote from Dottie Escobedo-Frank, author of Restart Your Church. She wrote, “In order for things to change, things need to change.”

Educate, Evaluate, and Reconsider

I do not wish to ditch this season and the bountiful, beautiful traditions that come with it. Some elements of the season are well worth preserving. Traditions do much to bind people together into cohesive communities. However, I would love to see us simplify and modify these traditions.

One modest proposal: consider buying less stuff and invest the time not spent shopping with loved ones creating new memories to share. Consider taking some of the money not spent on more stuff and donate it to an organization working to improve the quality of life for humans and the earth that supports every form of life.

If you’d like to include Mother Earth on your gift-giving list, consider one or more of these organizations.

The Audubon Society Five-star rating by Charity Navigator.

National Parks Conservation Association Three-star rating by Charity Navigator

Nature Conservancy  Not rated by Charity Navigator, but approved by Better Business Bureau

The Sierra Club Foundation Four-star rating from Charity Navigator

World Wildlife Fund Three-Star Rating by Charity Navigator

Environmental Defense Fund Four-Star Rating by Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator 
Rate places you’re considering including on your year-end gift giving list at this organization.

Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to read this blog. I do wish you a Merry Christmas, if that is your tradition. If not, I wish you a Happy Holiday season. I’m taking a break from my How Wise Then blogs to be with some of my favorite people and enjoy some of my favorite holiday traditions. Thanks for being part of my community this year, I look forward to being back with you in mid-January to start a new year.

If you got this blog from a friend, you can have your very own free subscription by signing up at up at HowWiseThen. I am always looking for leads about people who use their time and opportunities to make useful contributions to our global village. Do you know someone who’s doing that? If so, let me know. Check out my website for free resources you can download.


  1. This season, I don’t want to miss out on anything. Having gone through a period of time where I did do exactly that and sorely regret it now because it took away from the enjoyment of the people I loved, I now enjoy ever aspect of this holiday season. Although I don’t enjoy shopping in general, I find that the decorations and general excitement make up for the inconvenience of being jostled around with everyone else.

    Never did spend a fortune on gifts. It’s not the way I was raised. When I make my Christmas gift list, I try to find something for each person that I think they would like. Even the kids didn’t get a room full of packages, but things I feel they really would enjoy. And I do agree with you that spending has gotten out of hand. The more you give children, the more they expect, it seems.

    As for donating, we already do. We donate to places that make an impact on people’s lives. Goodwill, Paralyzed Veterans, Wounded Warriors, and such. We’re not looking to make ourselves feel better. We’re already happy with our lives and the blessings God has given us. We simply want to help others out where we can.

    Even though it’s probably not the real date when our Lord was born, it’s important to acknowledge what He left to bring us salvation. What a wonderful Savior to go through the life of His own creation so He could know our struggles, pain, and sorrow, along with the joys and everything else. Praise God He did. I for one will celebrate that and enjoy every minute of it.

    Merry Christmas, Kathy.

  2. I try to slim down the holiday whirlwind so I can savor a few quiet moments to reflect on the impact of the Christchild, regardless of exactly when God came to us in the form of a helpless infant. I have so many memories of just holding a sleeping baby. Such a simple, yet profound experience in life. Thanks for sharing your insights Sharon. Many blessings on your 2020.

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