In both church life and the broader culture, December brings thoughts of Christmas (even though most of the month is in Advent). Last year’s holiday had to be unusually low-key for most of us, and many are ready to really celebrate this year. It’s possible, however, to have a full celebration without adding excessive loads to the landfill. First of all, there’s music! As always, our sanctuary will be filled with glorious music, and, on Christmas Eve, ringing with carols! Many, if not most, arts organizations have holiday concerts. Attend one or more as a holiday celebration, or give some as gifts. Phipps Conservatory has its fabulous Holiday show, and the nearby Carnegie Museum of Art has its long-established nativity scene and beautifully decorated trees in the Hall of Architecture. The Science Center has the beloved Miniature Railroad, with some new twist to the display every year. In addition, there is usually a planetarium, laser, or Omni-max presentation with a holiday theme. Downtown, the Holiday Market will be open in Market Square. This list only scratches the surface of local possibilities.
Many people developed creative skills during the pandemic. Christmas is the perfect time to give the gift of your own efforts, a lovely way to express love. Gifts of time and caring are always appreciated. Make a date to take someone somewhere, or just to have a visit! Do some outdoor chores for someone who needs a bit of help.
Beautiful wrapping makes any gift feel special, with expensive (and often impossible to recycle) paper and ribbon not required. Try reusing the brown paper that often cushions items delivered in a box. Decorate it with hand stamped motifs, holiday stickers, or natural materials from your yard. By the way, it can be ironed for a pristine appearance, if you are so inclined. You can both seal and decorate your gifts with washi tape, a Japanese adhesive and repositionable paper tape (also recyclable). It can be found at craft stores and on-line. Holiday fabric bags and wraps are reusable, easy, and fun. You might also consider making your own holiday cards, or sending e-cards.
The Internet, of course, has multiple guides available for greening your Christmas. Here are a few to get you started:
Do some searching yourself, and find what works for you.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Eco-Justice Team!