Monday, December 15, 2008

Smells like Christmas...


Bah Humbug!
Baled balsam fir trees-December 2008

Christmas stresses me right out. Traffic is heavy, grocery lines are long, annoying music gets overplayed and people, myself included, are driven insane by the blatant commercial bullshit. When our first child was born, as non-christians, we decided that we were not going to 'do' Christmas. In a multicultural mecca like Vancouver, this was not so odd. When we moved back to our extremely religious, (Where if you're not a roman catholic you're usually at least a christian.), east coast home town, people here thought we were insane to deprive our darling child of such a wonderful holiday. We decorated a tree and exchanged gifts, but we didn't lie about any of them being from some stranger in a red suit or go to church... We try to be as honest as possible with our children.

Last year instead of buying the regular obligatory family gifts, we bought chickens, goats and household emergency kits for people who really need them, from oxfam unwrapped. You get a card with a picture and description of the gift on it to symbolize the gift, while the things and money will go to people who really need it.

This year we will give some of our home raised chickens, crafts, artwork and photos. Stuff will get bought for the children, and I put a deposit on an acoustic guitar for myself, but we have enough decorations so we don't feel the need to buy any and we raised our own free-range turkeys this year, (which would be worth it for the taste even if it wasn't a big money saver). When we lived out west, we'd have a pot-luck on winter solstice. I miss that. Next year, I hope to be organized enough to have a real Buy Nothing Christmas. There are so many great ways, and plenty of good reasons to simplify the holidays. What do you do to keep it simple during the holidays? Do you celebrate at all?

And now for a word from Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping...



And The Stop Shopping Choir!

5 comments:

Kate@LivingTheFrugalLife said...

I'm not Christian either, but I was raised Catholic, and I still love some elements of Christmas. Mostly those are the elements lifted from pagan religions, such as the Christmas tree and the yule log. I would really love to ban the gift exchange entirely, but it's not going to happen anytime that I can foresee. The music that we listened to at home is also nostalgic for me. I have the Andy Williams and Mitch Miller christmas albums. Totally cheesy but somehow comforting too. Have a nice un-christmas!

MoonRaven said...

I, too, am a born-again pagan, who appreciates all ancient elements bound into the holiday: evergreens and lights in a season of bare trees and darkness--reminding us that life and light and warmth will return. But I don't like the way the holiday is shoved down everyone's throat and I particularly don't like the orgy of consumerism that's promoted with the holiday. In fact, the Christians I know aren't fond of it either. Giving to those who need it seems more in keeping with the spirit of the holiday than supporting all the corporations.

Enjoy whatever you do celebrate, and three cheers for Rev Billy and Stopping Shopping.

1,000 Faces of MotherHenna said...

I totally get this! We've taken to donating chicks and bees and pigs via Heifer Foundation which simply perplexes most everyone (with a few exceptions) in my husband's family. The Buy Nothing idea sounds FAB! Will have to check that one out. Here's to taking the best care of you possible -- whatever that looks like and however much it goes against the crazy norm of the italian roman catholics where I come from :) Miracles! k-

Kate said...

Thanks for tagging me with the Bookworm Award. I've finally gotten my post up:

http://livingthefrugallife.blogspot.com/2008/12/news-items.html

Mon said...

The pressures to fit into society's norms are truly unbelievable! I've already had so much with having a baby that I'm raising a little differently to the norm. I know that asking for no gifts for her at Xmas is going to become an issue when she's older.

I just do what feels right and won't bow to other's expectations. If you do something for other's sake, it loses it's meaning.

I love your oxfam unwrapped giving.