Saturday, November 28, 2009

5 Ways To Celebrate Christmas In 2009

Double digit unemployment. Housing market in the toilet. A recession groaning under irresponsible government spending. A post 9/11 terrorist attack on our homeland. Christmas season looming.

Spending thousands of dollars buying and shipping gifts to extended family and friends with plenty while many in our country are hungry, jobless, homeless and grieving seems to to miss the spirit of celebrating Jesus and Christmas. How each of us celebrates is as individual as how one worships. But if you are feeling as I do, the upcoming season doesn't have to be celebrated in a way that is hectic or expensive as we strive to capture the reason for the season.

Each holiday for the past several years, we have worked to reduce the time, energy and money expended during the holidays. We have learned to reserve our gift giving to small tokens for those we see frequently, family members with hardships and charitable organizations that support the nation's armed services. We are grateful to those far away family and friends that have eliminated us from their gift list and have donated gifts from those who haven't to others less fortunate. Last year, all my gifts to neighbors and friends were consumable, much of it made in my kitchen.

Here are 5 ways to be simplify the Christmas season, put meaning back into your holiday, give and serve in ways that matters most, and conserve both your own and the planet's resources.

Redefine Christmas "Giving your loved ones the gift of charity."

Buy Nothing Christmas "This Christmas we'll be swamped with offers, ads and invitations to buy more stuff. But now there's a way to say enough and join a movement dedicated to reviving the original meaning of Christmas giving."

Community Response to 11/5 "Those who want to help support the victims and the families of the mass shooting (massacre), please send your donations to the Central Texas-Fort Hood Chapter AUSA fund."

Consumable Gift Giving "A consumable gift is one that will be used. Used up, not stashed in a closet for the next yard sale. A consumable gift is something that can be eaten, sent, read, or enjoyed by the recipient. A consumable gift is the gift of an experience, not a thing, a "keepsake", or another piece of clutter."

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