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
http://www.audubon.org. Five-star rating by Charity Navigator.
National Parks Conservation Association
https://www.npca.org Three-star rating by Charity Navigator
https://support.nature.org Not rated by Charity Navigator, but approved by Better Business Bureau
The Sierra Club Foundation
https://www.sierraclub.org Four-star rating from Charity Navigator
World Wildlife Fund
https://www.worldwildlife.org Three-Star Rating by Charity Navigator
Environmental Defense Fund
https://www.edf.org Four-Star Rating by 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.
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