Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm Dreaming ...

... of a sustainable Christmas.

If you've read this blog for awhile, you know that I have a lot of goals. I am what we might call a "goal-driven" person. Take right now, for example. You may have noticed a dearth of blogging lately. It's not because I'm not writing. I am writing out the wazoo. I decided on a whim to participate in NaNoWriMo , or National Novel Writing Month -- in which crazy people the world over dedicate themselves to writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

Currently, I've written around 28,000 words of said novel, and am slightly off pace to finish on the 30th. However, I have a week of vacation coming up, and that means a lot of writing time.

I created a goal for my holiday gift-giving this year as well. Now, I know that a lot of folks despair about the way Christmas seems to creep earlier and earlier each year.


I love Christmas. One month of Christmas (and other winter holidays from various faiths) is not enough for me. I mean, when there are great songs like "Winter Song" by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson in the world, why would you only listen to them for a month? And sparkly decorations! The world is better when there are lots of sparkly decorations. Those are great reasons that Christmas (and winter holidays celebrated around the world) are awesome - and we haven't even considered the spirits of generosity and good will and the desire for world peace, and all of those other psychological goodies that accompany Christmas (or generic winter holiday of your choosing).

This Christmas, I set a goal for myself - to make gifts, or to buy gifts that are a) fair trade, b) made and sold by individual artisans, or c) made from sustainable materials. I got off to a solid start - knitting up a storm throughout October (DIYers have to start Christmas when the first QVC Christmas special starts airing -- seeing a Christmas tree QVC while flipping channels is sort of like a crafter's alarm clock to grab the knitting needles and whip out the sewing machine.) I even bought my sister's present from an artist on Etsy. However, this whole novel-writing thing has slowed me down, and I'm worried I'll run out of time to make really good, conscious choices.

In the coming days, I'll update you on some of the great shopping and crafting finds that I come across ... and feel free to share your faves in the comments.

Just a note: This goal, however, does not extend to the gifts I will buy for the small children in my life. Buying sustainable gifts for my nephew would certainly inform him of my values. It would also cause him to cry, if he opened a hand-made toy lovingly crafted by a Third World artisan, when he could have had a plastic monstrosity. Christmas is a time when we learn many great lessons, but let's face it. Causing Christmas-morning disappointment will only lead to grinchifying young hearts.

*Photo courtesy of Library of Congress archives. Library of Congress, rock on!


Unknown said...

I love making gifts! I have a friend who I exchange homemade gifts with each year. One year she cheated a little and bought fair trade stuff. :) I've made gift bags out of Christmas-themed fabric, and we wrap all our gifts with those. The paper waste on Christmas is pretty gross, so we try to avoid it. Yes, kids do enjoy the plasticy things. ;P

Melanie said...

How about gifts you receive??

Catfish said...

Oh, gifts I receive can be any ol' crap!