By Brother Ryan Roberts
Last year, we offered commentary and questions for you to consider in planning Christmas festivities that would respect and celebrate our common home, Earth. This year, we offer you some new resources to further grow your relationship with a sustainable Christmas.
Many of us made wish lists as children, and the practice remains common today with people of all ages. Websites that want to sell you their products make it easy to bookmark their catalogues, but what if you don’t want to promote any particular seller, or you’d rather ask friends and family to consider gifts that aren’t mass produced, aren’t brand new, or aren’t even things? In the SoKind Registry website, the Center for Biological Diversity has married the features of an online registry (like preventing duplicate gifts and keeping givers anonymous) with the blessings of sustainability like thrifted, handmade, or service gifts. They have also made a site to offer suggestions for Earth-friendly and emotionally sustainable gatherings, as well as lists of alternative gift options to jump-start your new way of thinking.
But what if you already have more Christmas kitsch than you need or would like? You’re not alone! Nine years ago, Pope Francis had that very realization regarding the Vatican’s crèche, and one author expressed that she, too, wanted a more simple season, not least because all the hullabaloo was more burden than joy. Generations of U.S. Americans are seeking less for Christmas, distilling the holiday into particular pieces, rich rituals, and mouth-watering meals with friends and family.
You are not alone if you take a page from less materialistic places and times, blending a few classic favorites with sheer simplicity in reverent recognition of the reason for the season, the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!