At this time of year I look around at everyone acting like sheep and doing what everybody else does, buying Christmas gifts. This only endorses the unsustainable commercial farce that the celebration of the birth of Jesus has become. This is such a tragic indictment of the way that religion and capitalism have co-opted and corrupted the message. I am not Christian but I am quite certain that Jesus of Nazareth would be utterly horrified by what the celebration of his birth has become. With this in mind I would like to offer some suggestions for sustainable Christmas gifts, gifts from the heart with little or no carbon impact.
Handmade Christmas card.
Make your own Christmas card by hand or with the help of a computer and express your gratitude for the recipient's place in your life.
Buy a ticket for a performance: music, movie, theater, poetry reading, performance art etc. Or perhaps for a sporting event for the recipients favorite team.
If your recipient has a book reader and you know enough about their reading taste perhaps you can find an e-book that they would enjoy. Resort to a paper book or print magazine only if you must.
Offer to cook a meal for your intended recipient at some future scheduled date, or take them out to a restaurant that endorses local and sustainable foods. If you are someone who likes to make jams or jellies or other food that keeps, then give a gift from your garden.
Lend a hand.
Give the gift of your time and offer to help fix your gift recipient's home or vehicle or teach them how to do it themselves. Share your skills or experiences in a meaningful way.
Traditional handmade gifts include knitted items such as mittens, socks and sweaters. Be creative and think of the things that you can make that other people would value and enjoy. Write a poem, sing a song or any other form of creative expression that is meaningful to you or to your recipient.
These are just a few thoughts that come to mind, if you have other suggestions please offer them up in the comment section below.