Premeditated Holiday Shopping

The economic climate is grim for so many of us, and I personally can't bear to see the cover of the daily news each morning. The year 2008 has made history on so many levels, both elating and sobering, and "change" is in the air.

Change has a humbling effect on us. It makes us vulnerable, thoughtful, hopeful, and sometimes fearful of what the future brings. To stay "present" is the golden key to unlocking consciousness; NOW is all we have and although keeping an eye toward the future is sometimes necessary, it's a challenge to remain in a head space that allows for balance between the two. [more]

Perhaps there is an opportunity this holiday season though if we start premeditating our future purchases NOW. Shopping consciously for ourselves and for our children this year is exactly the prescription that we need to relieve ourselves from the pressures of excessive gift giving.

Christmas at our house is so often the most glorious of affairs, but oftentimes holds an aftertaste of gluttony. I typically survey the carnage that was once my living room and wonder why it all suddenly looks like a bunch of "Stuff." How can we buy more consciously? Here are a few tips:

* Stomach it: Baking is is one of my favorite gifts, and I don't understand why more of us don't do it. We say "we don't have time", but it takes less time and is often times much less expensive than an outing to a store to "buy" something that is most likely going to end up sitting on a shelf somewhere.

* "DO NO HARM" to the environment: keep it in your thoughts at all times when buying this Christmas. and ask yourself WHERE, WHAT, WHEN?

1. where does this product come from?"
2. "What is it made out of?"
3. "When it's disposed of, where will it likely go?"

If you know it's Biodegradable, recycled, or recyclable it might be a nice choice, but it's important to think about it before you buy.

* Wear it Well: harsh chemicals and dyes go into most clothing items on the racks, and it's also important to realize that not only do we wear these items on our skin, but their manufacturing process leaches chemicals into our soil and water resources poisoning our water supplies, and contributing to a major source of pollution. Try to buy only organic cotton clothing if possible, or clothing made from recycled or remnant fabrics. Flex that consumer muscle by bypassing the temptation all together. Remember that if enough people refuse to buy it…they'll stop making it.

* Spread the GOOD GREEN WORD: Give an eco awareness book this Holiday. There are so many wonderful books to read on the subject and a great one for kids and adults alike is Dr. Seuss The Lorax.

* Make it Happen! Who does not appreciate a homemade gift? TRY it! Look through your house for materials for a photo collage, write a personal letter, or give a meaningful token to a meaningful friend. One of the most beautiful and simple gifts I have ever received was a heart shaped stone I have cherished for many years. My friend found it on a beach when he was a child and saved it his whole adult life and gave it to me one Christmas wrapped up n red paper and a white bow with a sweet note. He passed on several years later but It sits on my windowsill and reminds me of the thoughtful blessing he was in my life.

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