Christmas–a paler shade of green

January 3, 2011

I am not a green goddess.  In fact, I think I put saving the environment on hold this holiday season.  Not that I went out of my way to sully the environment; I just didn’t go out of my way to NOT sully the environment.  It also seemed that when I tried to be green I failed, more often than not for lack of funds.  Being green is not always cheap.

Gifts.  This year was a year of consumption over creation.  Last year I made many gifts.  This year I bought many gifts.  OK, I made some too.  I did a little needle felting:          DSCF8698                  DSCF8701DSCF8705

And did a little “regular felting (those are hats). 


I’m afraid time constraints led to the purchase of most gifts.  Does it count that all blood relatives with whom I exchange got a very light gift? Down vests all around!  Shipping weights were down (sizes of boxes, however, were still large – aye yi yi! The postal bill!)

Wrapping Gifts. Wrapping the gifts was another area where my ideals and my reality didn’t quite meet.  I looked at the $10/roll recycled paper gift wrap and then looked in my wallet and then went to the dollar store and bought 4 rolls for $3.  I am not worthy.

OTOH, any and all gift boxes and bags were reused from previous years, as were all shipping boxes and packing materials.  It’s a family tradition; in the past I’ve sent a box, had it sent back to me, and then resent it again.  One of the boxes we received this Christmas was a U-Haul moving box marked “Easter decorations”.  Reuse, it’s what we do.

Holiday treats.  In the best of all worlds I would use all organic ingredients.  This world is pretty good, but apparently it isn’t the best, cost and availability being the limiting factors; so I focused on chocolate.  I wanted to use organic baking chocolate for fudge.  I did find some, and I did buy some, but not much – too dang expensive.  A quick visit to my friend Mr. Google and I learned that making fudge doesn’t require bars of baking chocolate as I’d been led to believe (by the recipe on the wrapper of the baking chocolate).  You can use chocolate chips.  I can find organic chocolate chips for a fraction of the cost of organic chocolate in bars.  Considering how much chocolate I cook with over the holidays this was a significant savings.

Lights.  At least we have LED lights on the tree, and on the porches.  (Yes, there are 3 little non-LED trees in the backyard – they are just visiting for this year though).

Now while every gift I gave may not have been organic, handmade, or fair-trade – I received a number of eco-friendly gifts including  baskets, a bowl, a platter, boxes, notecards, jewelry, soap, and a bird house.  I even received a jigsaw puzzle with embedded wildflower seeds so I can plant it in my garden after I’m done with it.  I received foodstuffs, often local specialties where people live or visit, such as wild rice, and cherry and fig preserves. 

It’s possible that people were greener in their giving to me than I was to them this year.  That’s ok, I have 12 months to prepare for a greener season of giving.  I wonder what I’ll come up with.



  1. It’s called “Green Pieces” here’s the link: http://tdcgames.com/greenpieces1.htm I’ve got the Tiger puzzle 🙂

  2. That puzzle with embedded seeds sounds like a great gift idea! What company is it from?

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