I am trying to use "Easy does it there, buddy!" (with a Frances McDormand from Fargo Minnesotan accent) as my new mantra through the holiday season and beyond.
"Easy does it there, buddy!" is what I will be telling myself when I have radical urges to buy enormous amounts of stuff. I have overdone it in the past, and it dosen't make people happy to get lots of junk from me...it makes them feel GUILTY for not reciprocating. And it has, in the past, created much credit card debt. And all of that stuff and junk breaks or wears out after 6 months or so...planned obsolescence...or it is no longer fashionable. It's a lose-lose situation. Oh, yeah, and it is harmful to the planet. Our junk and stuff is mostly non-recyclable, ends up in the landfills where it is burned- which releases toxic waste into the air, water...which we breathe and drink. Basically, we are poisoning ourselves with the crap we buy.
Merry happy friggin toxic Christmas.
And are you aware of what we do to the world to make all of this disposable stuff? Well, if you watch
The Story of Stuff, you will suddenly become enlightened, and probably sad, and a bit angry, and perhaps hopeful. It's a 20 minute video. Annie Leonard explains it all better than me at http://www.storyofstuff.com/
So, "Easy does it there, buddy!" means that I will try to shop with Annie Leonard perched on one shoulder, encouraging me to shop with a conscious, to be mindful of how what I buy affects other people and the world. I will still have presents under the tree, but I will try to give gifts that are experiential, consumable, local, handmade... I get tons of inspiration from Angela and her blog My Year Without Spending. Her November 17th post on Experiential Gifts for the Holidays was especially helpful for me to brainstorm ideas for my loved ones. Visit her here: http://myyearwithoutspending.blogspot.com/2009/11/experiential-gifts-for-holidays.html
Of course "Easy does it there, buddy!"- my new mantra- applies to other areas in my life. I'm hoping it will remind me to be less reactive, less stressed. Shhh...I'm channeling my inner pregnant police lady.