12.16.2006

simpler christmas

Your Holiday Personality is Caring

You like to reach out to people all year long, but you're especially giving during the holidays.
Make those you love homemade presents (like cookies or scarves). Call someone who might be feeling a little down. Give to your favorite charity.
For the past several years I've been trying to simplify my Christmas experience. Perhaps it was surviving 5 K-Mart Christmases, but I couldn't really see how running myself ragged and overspending was in the Spirit of the holiday. So bit by bit, I simplified.

One year instead of presents for the family, I "bought" a goat from Heifer International in their honor. Knowing that they'd want something to unwrap, I also bought little toy goats and put a note around their neck explaining the gift to charity (the note went around the goat's neck, not my family members!). Other years I bought Fair Trade gifts from A Greater Gift. I've even been known to subject my loved ones to the offspring of my more crafty moments.

I was also part of an education effort at my parish to share suggestions like these with parishioners ... if you're looking to simplify your Christmas you can still find tips on the St Phil's
Peace & Justice Commission website from years past. I particularly like the Buy Me Nothing Coupons which you can download as a PDF.
What I noticed each year as I let go of the commercialization of Christmas was that I had more room to experience the awesome reality of God With Us. In hindsight, I'm glad that I was on this gradual journey to a simpler Christmas. Otherwise I'd probably be in for quite a shock! As a novice I do have some spending money, but it's limited and I don't have access to credit cards. Add to that the fact that any gifts I'd buy for loved ones I'd have to pay to ship, and I'm being even MORE simple this year. Which is a gift in itself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words about Heifer International. I joined Heifer as new media director last year and really appreciate it when someone blogs about us.

We have a new BlogRaising program that lets bloggers like you help us get the word out about Heifer and raise the money we need to do our work. To learn more, just go to www.heifer.org/onlinecommunityfundraising

I hope you are able to take part.

Again thanks for the good words.