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Sunday, November 22, 2009


I'm not really a Scrooge but other than a bit of gift shopping, I'm generally anti-seeing and anti-hearing anything Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Preferably December 1st but with Thanksgiving falling so early this year, I'm willing to give a bit of a pass to that last weekend.

This means the last couple of weeks have been rough for me. All of the stores have their Christmas decorations and candies out, Falalalablah ringing through the speakers.

Still, I've had to start thinking about shopping. Joe and I have some, umm, interesting family dynamics to deal with plus everything has to be shipped. This means we have to consider not only what the cranky greedy demanding difficult-to-buy-for family members would enjoy as a gift but we also have to consider budget and ease of shipping.

A further challenge? We're attempting to have a green Christmas. I'm tired of buying plastic crap or stupid trinkets. I'm also anti-gift cards (because then they still go buy plastic crap and stupid trinkets). We're making a commitment to buying environmentally-friendly gifts. Local vendors. Sustainable products. Minimal packaging.

(I should probably let Joe know we've decided to do this - see what happens when he goes away for a week?)

What started me thinking about this is a new blog by Ryan Ashley Scott of Optimistic Cynicism fame. The new blog is called A Free Christmas. Her goal?
"Cut out the entire cost of Christmas gift purchases, but still be able to give (new - not used) gifts to our regular people."
So far, she's detailed who she has to buy for and the usual budget. She's selling off junk they don't need or use for cash to buy gifts. Taking advantage of giveaways. Rigging Entering sweepstakes.

The best part is that she's sharing all of the information in the blog so you can do the same. Regardless of our financial situations this holiday season, it's always smart to spend less money out-of-pocket.

What does this have to do with my green Christmas?  Check out this post: "The Story of Stuff".  We all have so much stuff. I'm in the mood to decrease it, not add to it. And if you don't know what to do with all the money you save in the process, you could always send it to me.


Ryan Ashley Scott said...

You are beyond fabulous. I love-love your green Christmas idea and can't wait to hear more about how you do it (and how your family likes it).

Nessa said...

I've finally gotten the adults to agree not to exchange gifts. Us the money they'd normally spend on charity contributions instead.

Sunny Sunday #7 - Say a Sunny Thank-You

It's Sunday - Do You Know Where You Are?

Ann On and On... said...

I'm already considered a little strange to my non-Eco friendly in-laws....why not make it so I am reallllyyy strange. I love the idea of a green Christmas.

Mrs Cooper said...

The thing I love about Christmas the most is, I only have to buy for people who live inside of my house. I don't worry about the outside of the house and they don't worry about me and that's fine. I applaud your efforts on a green Christmas.

Eternal Lizdom said...

We are doing things a little different this year, too. I want my money and spending to benefit people who are struggling. My family and friends are all comfortable and secure and don't need/want for much of anything. My house is over run with my kids' stuff. So for adults, we will be making charitable donations. And for our own kids, we are doing the following:

Something you want
Something you need
Something you wear
Something you read

That corgi :) said...

love your idea of going green as much as you can and for reducing what you don't need; we used to live in a 3400 square foot house in Montana then moved to just under 1500 square feet in So. Calif. I refused to pay for storage so we reduced 2/3 of our stuff and didn't miss anything except for the bigger whisk we had. We had 2, I kept the small one, hubby liked the bigger one better. Good luck with your project. I look forward to reading about it and will check out the other lady's blog as I can


Melissa B. said...

That Ryan Ashley is a smart cookie, that she is! I'm looking forward to perusing her newest effort. Thanks so much for putting this out there...

2cats said...

Most of the gifts that I am giving this year are made by me. I try to make at least one of the gifts I give to each person. I try to give each person 2 gifts. I only have 6 people to give to so it is easier for me.
Here is something that is not plastic about a really nice photo of you and Joe? You could put it in a great frame. The shipping should not be very much. You could give everyone on your list this wonderful photo.

InspiredDreamer said...

Hooray for going green! This year everyone possible is getting either handmade gifts or stuff that I have gotten at a great, great discount. I agree that there is so much stuff out there.

I don't know if I can organize it quickly enough this year, but next year I want to work with all the people I know who have their own businesses and/or make "things" (like scarves, hats etc) and do a sort of round-robin gift exchange, where everyone makes presents and everyone ends up with homemade presents for their family that they didn't make. You know, so the woman who knits isn't shoving scarf after scarf at her kids. :)

mo.stoneskin said...

"I'm tired of buying plastic crap or stupid trinkets"

*hastily shoves hoarded collection of plastic crap and stupid trinkets off desk into bin&

Me too.

Ronnica said...

I've decided to give people gifts to charity. My family will still get something small each as well, but that's it. We all have more than enough!