20 November 2009

Consuming Holidays

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, Valentine's Day. The holiday season is upon us. The lefty websites I read are full of advice about how green gift-giving and fair trade food shopping; the newspapers full of dire predictions about how much weight we'll gain.

(If you're interested, check out some of the links under "Where to Shop" in the right-hand column.)

But what if we scale back on the holidays altogether? Give to the charity of your choice -- or your loved one's choice -- instead of buying a gift, green or otherwise.

Simplify holiday meals and avoid throwing away unused food. Skip a meal once a week for the season; put the money saved in a jar each week, and pull it out next March and do something nice for yourself or someone else.

As others have pointed out before me, buying different stuff isn't going to change the world. Changing our habits altogether, making the effort each year to reduce consumption, and then the following year to reduce consumption some more, is the only real possibility.