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Green Living: Christmas Choices

December 16th, 2011 | Posted by Claire Sommer in Green Living

For the second year running, I’ve chosen not to put up a Christmas tree. Instead, I redirected that time and money to rehabbing the garden cold frame.

I’m looking forward to a very Green Christmas–in the form of flourishing winter spinach, kale, lettuce, and chard. Wishing you and yours the very best, however you choose to make the season bright.

Here’s a 2010 essay I wrote about getting more by choosing less:

The Year Without A Christmas Tree

Sometime next week, after all the shoveling is done and the last cookies are eaten and the thank you cards are mailed, I won’t be doing something I’ve done ever other year in my adult life.

This year, for the first time, I did not put up a Christmas tree. This was a deliberate choice on my part and one that came to me slowly. December was jam-packed with work commitments and holiday events. We don’t have kids, weren’t hosting any parties and were going out of town over Christmas. If I could jettison the tree, I could free up a significant chunk of time, as well as money for the tree.

When I floated the idea to my husband, his response was, “I’m fine but are you sure you are OK with not having a tree?” As the Keeper of the Ornaments after my parents downsized, he knows how important hanging these family heirlooms is for me.

Once I thought it through, I was. Doing so gave me more time and money to spend with friends and family.

For me, this greener living choice came down mainly to conserving my time and some money, but the environmental impact is worth thinking about as well.

In the end, Christmas comes just once a year and it’s meant to be enjoyed. The choices we make are generally the best ones we know how to make for our families. With Christmas 2010 behind us, I can say for sure that the choice I made was the right choice for us. Doing less meant enjoying more. I look forward to seeing how this lesson will help me make better choices in the year ahead.

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