This Black Friday…

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Visual representation on how much effort all of this is worth

I realize that we’re a business, and that this post should probably try to sell you something. And I suppose in some ways it is, but not in the way that you think.

I am going to try to convince you to reevaluate how we have “always done things” because it isn’t serving us anymore. What I’m talking specifically about is the way we shop, and most specifically the way we mega shop for holidays. A holiday that celebrates the birthday of a 2000 year old religious figure many of us revelers do not actually believe in. And we celebrate it with everything he wasn’t-excess and waste in almost every way. More food than we need that eventually ends up  in the garbage. More stuff to clutter up our already cluttered homes. More paper and plastic and styrofoam (all of the plastic *ever made* like I’m talking the plastic from your very first baby toy and every diaper you ever pooped in still exists, leaching out chemicals into our soil somewhere, or floating around the ocean). It doesn’t get recycled, and even if it does-recycling is hardly the magical waste eliminating system we want to believe it is anyways. I hate to be the one to tell you that if you don’t get every bit of peanut butter from the jar, it, and all it’s friends you had with it are now in the trash. 👇

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A giant 26 m high garbage heap. Whomp whomp.   Image: Npr.org

We have to make changes. All of us together, as fast as we can, starting anywhere we can. Starting this year and striving for more until all we give is love and time.

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But how do we preserve tradition, and evaluate what serves us and what doesn’t?

Our planet is dying and there’s a direct line back to us. People don’t want crap wrapped in other crap. Well, some people might  but I can tell you for sure they don’t need it. Some fun ideas for things not available in stores, and are way more thoughtful :

-A little plant you’ve grafted from one of your favorites. Something you have given love and attention can brighten and grow on with someone you care about.

-Making someone a meal. Nothing is sweeter than not having to cook your dinner.

-Babysitting. As long as you think someone would want to trust you with their children.

-Something sweet. If anyone showed up at my house with an elaborate cake, it would immediately be my best day ever.

-Homemade moodshine-you would have had to start a while ago, but if you did-let’s be friends.

-Home grown.                          Same ☝

This year in our house, we decided to start with the way we shop. It may seem like this is a weak place to start, but in years past this area was previously unapproachable (with me, *I* wouldn’t even hear of it without loosing my shit)

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Holiday magic for everyone damn it.

The Christmas presents we buy our kids. Getting gifts make children *so* excited. And we love our kids so.damn.much. But kids get excited about caterpillars, and farts, and yummy foods, and crafts, and fun activities and your love and time.

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Oh look, chips.

And kid’s attention is fleeting. When I think back to all of the junk I’ve bought for them over the years, it’s not only been a colossal waste of money (I swear, *one piece* of everything I’ve ever bought them still lives in my house) but also most likely someone (possibly even a sweet little kid their age on the other side of the world) made it in a factory teaming with toxic materials, horrifically unsafe work conditions, and brutally long hours. For us-to get tired of before the next year, or lose it, or have it break. But my visceral reaction to the idea of not showering them with everything their little heart desires makes me almost want to throw up. Why? Because we’ve been socialized and advertised to believe that giving things, especially new and expensive things shows and *is* love.

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Debbie Downer here-it isn’t. And anyways, what gift can you actually buy your mother or your partner or your kids that could adequately sum up how much you love them? It’s as big as a the Universe.

So how do we actually make this happen? How do we tell our kids? Where do you even start? For us, it was the commitment to not purchase anything new from a store this year for Christmas. We decided to put money towards things that already existed in the world, and/or fun experiences we can have as a family.

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Guilty.

Most especially no cheap plastic crap (looking at you kid☝, as I hold up a mirror). The first step was telling the kids that the thing they picked out of the Toys r us catalog is most likely not going to be under the Christmas tree. When we talked about it, I let them know that we were still going to do gifts, but needed to make big changes as a family and as a society so that we have a planet to leave them. I realize it might sound extreme, but not getting a mega blaster lazer gun 3000 for Christmas vs. an adulthood of fiery, flood-y, extreme weather-y hell.

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More of a bummer than Christmas let downs.

How can you do this in your life? Where can you start to make your gradual transition away from the wasteful and unsustainable ways we all grew up with ?

Black Friday friends, here’s where we start. Let’s not buy a damn thing, or if we must, follow some guidelines that make the world a better place. Let’s shift they way we give and love. Check this out:

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Would also like to add support small local businesses in the Ethical Buy category.

What else could you do for yourself that gives you the same things as buying on Black Friday makes you feel?  Seeing your friends? Doing something festive? Trampling a bunch of strangers?  Ha ha, maybe not that last one. Regardless of what you choose- I wish you time to reflect on how our collective actions-*no matter how small*, when done with love have no choice but to grow and expand. We’re in this together 🌎

 

 

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