Friday, November 21, 2008

'Tis the Season....?

I find I run with over-achieving shoppers. I've already begun to hear, "Have you finished your Christmas shopping?" as I gather with friends. Just as I take a breath to expel some primal sound of horror and disbelief that's connected to the psychological disruption the question evokes in me...someone in my crowd usually says, "Almost. I just have my dog's gift left to buy." Aaaaack. I do not like shopping. The crowds, the over-stimulation in stores, the struggle between what to give, what to eat, what to wear, what to put on the mantle, what to tie on top of the package...well, it's just too much consumer thinking to cram into a few weeks, isn't it? To add to the Christmas gift anxiety, those of us with consciences are compelled to find alternative routes to the traditional giving, while never sacrificing our ultimate goal of making everyone on our list feel great comfort and deep joy. It's enough to make you lean toward the liquor cabinet before 9 AM. I do love to give. And that saves the season for me. If you haven't finished your shopping yet (for heaven's sake...I haven't even finalized my Thanksgiving menu yet), let me add to the possibilities for meaningful gifting this season. Please add your own in the comment section. We'll collaborate here to create a Peace Full season. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time - this is an inspiring story of one man who answered the question we all ask..."But what can I do?" Perfect peace-minded gift for the book lover on your list. Throw in a tea cup (recycled from the antique mall) and your favorite herbal tea. InvisibleChildren.com Bracelet - my personal favorite this year. Every $20 bracelet comes with the video story of a child in Uganda whose life has been torn apart by civil war. The bracelets are made by villagers in Uganda...the DVD is made by this great organization. A donation to Kiva.org - connecting people through lending to alleviate poverty in the world. This is a person-to-person micro-credit operation. Microcredit is working! As little as $25 can make a difference. Check it out. There are lots of online gift sites that support women and artisans and farmers throughout the world. I like SERRV because it's been around since the end of World War II. It's original mission was to help refugees in Europe recover from war. Now the mission is to eradicate poverty wherever it resides. Other similar sites include: worldofgood.org thehungersite.com thepeacecompany.com Finally, if you just love to be in the stores this time of year, (I hold nothing but reverence and awe for you) please take a look at http://www.ethicalshopping.com/ before you put your purchasing power behind a company you'd rather not support. None of us have enough cash to throw money into the buckets of businesses with questionable practices. May your days...all of your days (even the shopping ones) be merry and bright. Peace.

1 comment:

jo ann said...

My children have been way ahead of me on this....Conner participated in an overnight rally at the Capital several years ago for the Invisible Children....has worn a bracelet since then (and teeshirt). Then he discovered TOMS shoes (http://www.tomsshoes.com/) and he and Abbi have gone through 3-4 pair each, and have many of their friends doing the same. And lastly, they (we) are supporting Nothing But Nets http://www.nothingbutnets.net/
BTW....I'm with you....can't even THINK about Christmas til I get Thanksgiving over with!

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