Monday, December 04, 2006

Much Better Than The

Recently, I gave in and sat for a photographer. He'd bugged me for years. Finally, I stopped bashing my head with this brick and sat for mildly interesting portraits. I don't trust him and didn't expect much from the sitting. Anyway, he sent me a print he liked and it's not the fright I thought it'd be. He's got a show opening on December 10th and this image, he says, will be in it. He wants me to go to the opening. I'd rather have a rash.

In better news, the resourceful Miss Sasha forwarded some exciting new ways to make the world a better place. If I hadn't made her myself, I'd go on and on about how she couldn't be more gorgeous under a dump truck full of tropical flowers. But modesty forbids. See:

Buy-Nothing Christmas
This Christmas we'll be swamped with offers, ads and invitations to buy more stuff. But now there's a way to say enough and join a movement dedicated to reviving the original meaning of Christmas giving. Buy Nothing Christmas is a national initiative started by Canadian Mennonites but open to everyone with a thirst for change and a desire for action.

Buy Nothing Christmas is a stress-reliever, and more people need to hear about it. You can change your world by simply putting up one of the posters (or make your own) in your church, place of worship, home or work. Be sneaky about it if you have to. The point is to get people thinking. It's an idea whose time has come, so get out there and make a difference!

Canadian Menonites want you to stop shopping! Come to think of it, we have so much in common! Mennonites bake stuff; I bake stuff! Canadians like snow; I like snow someone else is shoveling! Mennonites like horses. I...have met a horse. It's like we were separated at birth and I was raised by gourmet hippie opera-singing beauticians, and a monkey! What ideas should we consider? A few:
- Give fairly traded coffee, tea or chocolate, get beautiful items at garage sales or buy gifts from shops that support artisans in poorer countries.

- Make your own cards from recycled paper.

- Avoid commercial wrapping paper, ribbons, bows and tape, which are not recyclable, and opt for gift bags, tea towels or nice boxes, which are eco-friendly.

I can do that! I like the list of reader suggestions.
One year I made mini loaves of quick bread. I think it was pumpkin bread. One could make cranberry or whatever you like. I wrapped the loaves and placed them in small baskets that I picked up at yard sales over the summer months. I added packets of instant spiced cider, cocoa, or tea, and festive napkins. I then tied it up with a raffia bow along with a recipe card for the bread. Another year I made key chains out of beads that matched the color of each persons car. - Lisa Wilson

I can do that, too!

New American Dream has some good ideas but I think you probably have to ease your well-armed and gift-expecting family into a healthier and wholistic holiday season. I recommend you tell them one year how much you love llamas, the next year you tell them how much a llama means to a struggling family. If they don't have you arrested on an unpronounceable charge, you buy them a llama they'll never see. I personally have three and hope for a quartet. The neighbors are scandalized.

Operation Home Front is your ticket to a good deed even the Grinch wouldn't argue. Operation Home Front matches veterans and military families in need to people able and willing to help. Maybe you think you have nothing to offer. Maybe in your town, a military family needs help getting to the grocery store. You can drive! It's perfect! Maybe in your town, a sick veteran needs help mowing his lawn. Maybe you can mow! Mazel tov!

When you give of yourself, you really give an important gift. Notice that people I give Me to want more! Well, life is full of disappointments. But there are also llamas.


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