Friday, December 25, 2015

Where does your Christmas come from?

At SilverMoon house we celebrated our very first Holiday Party on December 19th, Winter Solstice on December 22nd, and our very first Winter Moon is tonight, December 25th (also, Christmas).

I, like many other people, love decorating for holidays. It gets me in the spirit and changes up the energy in the house. It builds up the anticipation and keeps things looking fresh. Yay decoration!

The drawback there is the push to combine decorating with consumerism. Companies market to consumers what their idea of a full table looks like, what the walls should look like, what you need to get to make it "feel" like the holiday season.

Well, that's just rubbish.

Companies market cheap, brightly colored, trinkets which we use for a few weeks on our trees and tables and wreaths and then we throw it all out come January 1st. I've walked around the city a few days after New Years and noticed the sad, dried out, wasted Christmas trees - some with lights still on, lining the streets waiting for a garbage truck to take them away. There will undoubtedly also be broken angels, cracked bulbs, and glitter shrapnel choking the gutter drains creating a twinkling twilight zone on a still post-holiday evening.

So much waste.

I find myself wondering where is the joy in these days? If you are religious - what God / Goddess / Spaghetti Monster sanctions such bingeing? If you aren't religious - where is the logic in excess consumerism that seems so prevalent in the winter months?

There are articles and documentaries that speak to the true cost of Christmas Culture. Factories in China have long been targets of investigative journalism. Information about workers being fined for using the toilet, being rushed through training and working with dangerous tools, chemicals in a country that doesn't necessarily care about the health hazards faced by the workers who use them, the list goes on and on.

Who made your Christmas ornaments? Seriously, who made them?

I want to be mindful of our use of ornaments and decorations. No, that doesn't mean we won't decorate, or that we will only DIY things. It does mean that I'll be checking out some DIY crafts, taking a look at the country of origin on the purchases I do make, and trying out places like Ten Thousand Villages and Etsy for  new things and Goodwill for others. Also, there are sustainable tree farms and mom'n'pop side of the road home businesses that could use a little cash for the holiday season more than a Walmart CEO.

Just before Christmas I went to check out the Urban Craft Uprising for good holiday ideas that support local artists and artisans.

There were lots of interesting folks- makers and artists with interesting gift ideas. D and I bought T's gift there. A laser cut wooden model for him to build. I can say that now 'cause we opened gifts earlier today. :-)

We are trying to be mindful this Yule. Mindful of the push of materialism, mindful of the time and privilege we have been given to be able to enjoy the holiday, and mindful of the meaning behind the season.

Happy holidays!

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