Guest Writer for Wake Up World
With the holidays swiftly approaching and the Occupy movement finding new legs, we should be seriously considering where to cast our purchase-power votes for the holidays. Already the pollution factories in China are shifting into high gear to produce the cheap, throw-away goods that first-world cultures have supported for decades. Let’s all band together decrease this mindless addiction and pollution this year, shall we?
Christmas marks the return of the sun after the winter solstice—the resurrection of light and the perseverance of unconditional love (symbolized by birth of Jesus) which nature manifests each year in the new life and returning warmth of springtime from the desolate depths of winter. Hanukah celebrates the endurance of light as the miracle of a tiny amount of oil that unexpectedly burned and gave light for 8 days.
With the trillions of dollars spent each year on gift-buying, we owe it to the revolution now afoot for justice and the protection of the Earth—to our collective health on every level—to support our local economies this holiday season.
Here are a few sustainable and creative, if not revolutionary, gift ideas to support the planet and a truer light for the holidays.
CONSERVATION GIFTS – Support one of the many environmental organizations working to protect the rights of animals, plants, and Nature by lending your bucks to protect endangered species, fight pollution, sue a polluter, revive oceans, and save wild places. Donate to a charity of your liking on behalf of your gift recipient. Here is a link for these and more: https://www.nrdcgreengifts.org
LOCAL ARTISTS – Original artwork captures care in physical form, both via the images and message present, as well as the labor of love that went into making it. In your community there are likely dozens and dozens of artists dedicating themselves to their passion. Give them some love this year and give the gift of local art.
Beekeepers that provide local honey and pollen (bless the struggling honeybees and beekeepers that assist them!), local chocolate-makers, basket weavers, furniture-makers, poets and authors, musicians for hire at parties, seamstresses, and organic food growers can all be hit up for gifts.
Break the mold of typical gifts! Exercise some creativity of your own and make an organic vegetable basket for a gift and add some chocolate or homemade jam to the basket. A great idea is to plant an herb garden for your folks or children. You can even make one out of a wooden planter if there is no ground to plant in and include a list of what the culinary and medicinal uses of the herbs are.
HEALING – Give the gift of massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal therapies, spa treatment, nature adventure or a gift certificate to a retreat center.
HOME AND YARD MAINTENANCE – Support your local non-toxic cleaning people and buy a gift certificate for housecleaning, non-toxic car-washing or dry-cleaning. Purchase the services of local land workers. Suggest to an organic gardener that you’d like to hire her/him (or employee) to start a vegetable garden for the person you know who has always wanted to, but hasn’t been able to get over the hump to turn the soil for years. Purchase a non-power tool tree-trimming gift certificate, or a hand-mowing (I do all my lawns with a manual push mower) lawn service.
LOCAL RESTAURANTS AND HEALTH FOOD STORES – Support local restaurants and food producers, especially those that source their produce organically and locally. Visit your local farmer’s market and buy a gift certificate for locally produced goods.
TRADE – Instead of just purchasing some thing, give the gift of love in action. What creative passion and love of yours has gone undeveloped for too long, or would be a true joy for you to give the gift of your time? Offer it as a holiday gift! Is it gardening, babysitting, painting, building something, writing, cooking, pottery-making, auto-detailing? The list is endless.
What is your labor of love to share for the holidays?
~ Give something of quality over more quantity.
~ Make decorations, or even gifts, using “junk” or recycled products.
~ Recycle wrapping paper or use towels or paper bags to wrap your gifts (break with wasteful tradition). If you have to use paper, try to get FSC (Forestry Stewardship Certified) paper.
~ Maybe you will choose to express your holiday love in words, music, dance, or song?… instead of purchasing a ready-made thing?
~ Gift something enduring, beautiful, and more necessary instead of something temporarily amusing, superficial, and ultimately wasteful and banal.
~ Try making your own cards!
IF YOU GIFT A BOOK, consider making it an educational, inspiring one for a greener future. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of books out now on the subject.
More than ever we need to mind how we vote with our money, our time and energy. Whatever your gift this holiday season, consider where it comes from, the love that went into making it, the effects it has had and will have on the environment and the recipient, how long it will last, and how it will help stoke the light of the hearts that participated in making, buying, and receiving it.
If it meets the integrity of your conscious heart, it will likely be a gift that keeps giving long after the charade of the holidays has passed and we are left with the despicable reality of trillions of tons of waste and human insult that spoils the planet and besmirches the true light we need to protect and nourish in the challenging years to come.
The Nourish Practice
Jack Adam Weber’s “The Nourish Practice” is an easy, guided meditation-Qi Gong practice in radical gratitude and self-love. It is an Earth-based, body-centered practice — at once physiological and mythological — that is deeply relaxing and replenishing, especially for modern-day burn-out syndrome, and requires little physical effort.
The Nourish Practice “resets your nervous system” and fosters a rich inner life. You can purchase The Nourish Practice as a CD or Digital Download here.
Previous articles by Jack Adam Weber:
- Relationships: The Costs of Staying When We Should Leave
- Sex, Love and Attachment
- Emotional Work
- Choosing a Partner – How to Avoid Relationship Suicide
- Re-Thinking Love: Why Our Hearts Must Also Be Minded
- Spirituality – Reality Check
- 11 Crucial Tips for Better Digestive Health
- Shadow Work: Becoming a Sustainable Light Worker (Part 1)
- Oneness in Action: The GMO Eradication Movement
- After the Hurricane: Lessons from the Heart of Nature
- Relationships: How They Can Make Us Happier
- Heartbreak – Loving Ourselves Through Difficult Times
About the author:
Jack Adam Weber, L.Ac. is a Chinese medicine physician, author, celebrated poet, organic farmer, and activist for body-centered spirituality. His books, artwork, and provocative poems can be found at his website PoeticHealing.com. He is also the creator of The Nourish Practice, an Earth-based rejuvenation meditation. Weber is available by phone for medical consultations and life-coaching.