There are a lot of Grinches that appear around this time of year. You know who they are, the people who scowl at the neighbor who lights up his lawn, who takes the joy out of gift giving by talking about the horrors of consumerism and who guilt trip you about the excess fossil-fuels/paper/live tree you are using in an attempt to share your cheer.
However, I have noticed that few of the Grinches actually take action beyond ranting at everyone who dares to enjoy the holiday season. A friend of mine has a policy, whereby if you choose to be “against” an action/belief/lifestyle you must be willing to act out your words to be honestly committed to your opinion. I find this to be a personal challenge myself and and by no means perfect at this practice, but I would like to put out this challenge to ALL the Grinches out there!
Take the actions to back your words.
Perhaps that means hand-making all your gifts to avoid the cringe-worthy consumerism of the season. Or offer to set up a carpool for the neighbors to get together and share a ride to look at the neighborhood lights to save on gas. Feel like being “forced” to take Christmas off is a violation of church and state? Offer to work at a local homeless shelter or restaurant handing out food and presents and put all that horrible time off to good use!
The fact is that the time around Christmas HAS become ridiculously commercialized and yes, it is pushed down out throats starting after Halloween. But when all is said and done the family time is priceless. I will be seeing my 9 (future) nieces and nephews in a week and that is what this time of year is about. It is what makes the flight to New York two days before Christmas worth the insanity that is airline travel and it somehow is even magical enough to make the mall bearable!
Honestly,what part of our everyday lives are not already, to some extent, affected by these same issues? Everyday we are blasted with advertising for stuff we don’t need but are told we want and ,let’s be frank, often end up purchasing… iPhones anyone? We attend or watch major sporting events, concerts, tv shows, movies that ALL use massive amounts of fossil fuels and other resources that could be put to much better use.
Lastly, a persons feelings regarding Christmas is a personal choice. Just like being vegan, atheist, Republican or a Grinch, the personal choice should be shown through practicing the lifestyle, not spreading anger and demands that everyone see the world from the same negative perspective the Grinch is famous for! Why not take a breath and enjoy the holidays for what the positive aspects?
Personally, I am giving some handmade gifts. I had a few handmade fresh-fir swags to decorate and hang around the house instead of a tree (can’t resist the smell of fresh pine in the house) and re-used as much wrapping paper as possible. Small steps but ones that I am able to do at the moment to try to stay as true to my convictions as possible while allowing myself to enjoy the holiday season with those around me.
And with that, Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!