The RNK proposed that we

November 24, 2009

not buy each other Christmas gifts this year. Instead, he suggested that with the economy so messed up and both of us having relatively stable jobs, we should give to our local food bank instead. I liked the idea and we agreed.

Yesterday he found a pair of shoes he wanted and when I suggested I buy them for him for Christmas, he agreed to that too. To his credit, he did change his mind a few minutes later; but, it does underscore how hard it is to change our consuming ways.

It takes some effort to fend off the never-ending barrage of sales pitches for material things that are sure — or so the pitch suggests — to make life better, easier and more wonderful or to make us more lovable, successful and appealing.

It seems we need some fundamental changes to our way of thinking. Is it the holidays that brings out this train of thought? Do I circle around to this “bigger than me” view of humanity only when reminded of the giving season? It could be. It could be the best thing about the holidays. This year it’s hitting me earlier. Perhaps it will stay longer.

If there is any silver lining to the poor economy in this country right now, this could be it: these tough times will serve as a catalyst to help us find happiness in less material ways.

With this thought in mind, so far this year, I have contributed toward a knitting basket at Heifer International. One thing I really like about this organization is that they have honored my requests to not put me on their mailing lists. I can give and I don’t have to worry about my gift translating into a never-ending barrage of catalogs and pleas for more gifts. I like that. I hate when I feel like a contribution toward something I believe in turns into something I don’t believe in — cutting down more and more trees for mailings that will simply hit the trash can.

How are you going to celebrate the holidays this year? Are you cutting back on gift giving? Are you changing the types of gifts you give? Have you, or will you, contribute to food banks and organizations like Heifer International?

I would be interested in hearing what others are doing this holiday season. Overall, I believe knitters are such creative and kind people. I am interested in your thoughts.

And because I think pictureless posts are, well, pictureless, here’s a sunrise sequence I took the other morning from our deck.

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