Friday, November 28, 2008

Gift giving

Above is a message about holiday gift-giving. Stop shopping. In this time of economic hardship for so many, it is time to return some thought to the process that has become automatic. We are all looking for meaning in our religious traditions. This holiday season, why not stop and think about the way you spend your money and time. What are you really giving? What do you take away from the holidays?

I am not going to stop shopping, but we have reduced the number of people we shop for. I would like to replace those gifts with something meaningful. Also, the gifts I do buy? I am rethinking about where I shop and how I spend my money. Rather than going to the catalogs for all my presents, I am seeking out local stores and businesses in my area. The Susquehanna Sustainable Business Network has a new brochure of businesses in my area. These include organic farmers, stores that stock free trade gift items, and local businesses.

Our family has a book exchange among the kids ages 2 months-14 years. All of them are readers and they get plenty of toys, so the books are something they actually look forward to each year. I usually put a big order into an online bookstore. Maybe I will again this year, but I am starting to think in new ways. We have an independent bookstore that is not too far away from us that sells new and used books. It is possible I will try them first.

The purpose of this post is not to make people feel guilty in a time where we are all already bogged down with dictates of culture and restraints of finances. But maybe we question the way we do things this year. Then we formulate a plan for next year. Maybe I'll seek out my books earlier--keep a list in my purse for when I do have more physical time and more time before my deadline.

In the meantime, I have bought some items at local stores. That is a step in the right direction. And if after watching the above video, anyone wants to give me a certificate for some homemade curry, color me grateful.

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