Saturday, September 5, 2009

Thinking ahead.

Musings from the Greenhabilitator...

Puh-lease don't throw (local, organic) tomatoes at me. I know it's only September, but I have Christmas on the brain already. Is that horrible? I'm a sun lover through and through, so I'm not wishing away the last days of summer. It's just that this whole Compacting thing has me trying to plan ahead.

The further we travel in this green journey, the more sustainable our holidays have become. We've moved from spending sprees and gift overload to spending wisely and giving fewer, but more thoughtful, gifts. As each holiday or birthday passes though, I still find myself running out of time to make or find everything that I wanted to give.

But this year will be different.

No, seriously.

I really mean it this time!

This year I already have my list. (Take that, Santa!) I've whittled it down to the people I really need to have gifts for. I've listed a few interests that each person has, and I've jotted down notes here and there when they've made mention of, say, a plan to hike the Appalachian Trail (I'm thinking: hiking gear, books on the subject).

I'm taking some time to research who's coming in concert when and what plays are running this winter. I'm looking through back issues of Christmas magazines. I'm brainstorming now, so I don't have to run around at the last minute snatching up plastic crap and candles and body lotion. Of course, others might call this being obsessive-compulsive. That's okay, I can take it.

Maybe I'm just a little too much of a sycophant, but I do beam with pride when someone proclaims their gift as "perfect". And, as the gift recipient, I'd much rather have one thoughtful gift than ten gifts that say "I was tired of shopping on Christmas Eve so I just grabbed something for you." (Ahem, honey.)

So come on, you know you want to break out a list of your very own! Start planning a sustainable gift-giving season with me. (And I'll promise not to bring up Christmas again at least until Halloween is over!)


The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Thanks for the reminder! It's time to start now. I've steered away from "thoughtless" shopping in the past few years, by seeing what the recipient really needs. A gift card to the college bookstore for my student, I know he'll use it for coursebooks next semester. Things like that.
Offering a suggestion for the hiker-to-be; there's a great little book "Walking to Vermont", a true, warm story about the Ap.Trail.

Stephanie said...

You're not alone. Just the other day I was thinking I need to get started. I usually have some of my gifts done by now. This year I have not one thing. :(

Green Bean said...

Thanks for the kick in the pants. :) It's waiting until the last minute that gets me in trouble. When I plan ahead, I not only get nice gifts but ones that jive with my principles as well.

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

I am right there with you. My pantry is full of jars of jam and salsa that I plan to give as Christmas presents and I have already started scouting the thrift stores for baskets to put the homemade goodies in. I love the holidays so much that I think about them year round!

The Raven said...

I'm doing it, too. Canned jams and pickles are canned, apple rings will be dried this fall, and hot pepper vinegar is seeping. Much will go in gift baskets, our adult version of Santa Claus.

I've also made my list of knitted items for everybody on my list and gotten started. Last year I started knitting holiday presents in January--but this year it is September. And I used to do all my shopping at the bookstore on Christmas Eve...

inadvertent farmer said...

ACK...Christmas? I am so not ready for September let alone Christmas, I would certainly through a locally grown organic tomato at you if I wasn't eating it right now!

But in seriousness you are right, I am doing homemade this year...period. Not sure what the college age sons will think of this! Kim

Blue Morpho said...

You're not the only one planning ahead. I work with a company that's all about giving meaningful gifts, and we're urging people to think now about what they'd really love to recieve, and post it on the site (it's an online gift registry) so that friends & family can plan their gift giving with enough time.
You should check it out,, it's the best way to give & receive gifts while cutting down on waste - they also donate a portion of the transaction revenue to charities.


Daisy said...

One of my favorite ways to recognize co-workers and friends is with Gifts in a Jar. I take the time to make them, and they can re-use the jar after the mix is gone. Simple, thoughtful, and inexpensive.

Robbie @ Going Green Mama said...

Oh yes, we got the reminder on our front page of the newspaper on Thursday...only 113 days left to break out your credit card!

I have to say, I am always so much more appreciative of the gifts that require a bit of thought over another bottle of lotion for my collection. And I'm also trying to remind people of my kids "list" now too. They'll need clothes for next spring/summer, and it's a great time to buy those too. Better that than another Barbie doll!


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