Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas is a Time for Giving (Nicolette Larson)

As I posted last week, this Christmas finds me decorating less and breathing more - for various reasons, there is less disposable income in our family these days, and I'm trying to find ways to cut back on the cost of presents while retaining the meaning of the holiday, as well as honoring the planet. Below are a number of links to "green" or political or free-trade products - I also bought 20 of these bags from my local Publix (a deal at $1.49 each) and, topped off with a festive ribbon or bow, will be using them to wrap this year's gifts (reduce, reuse, recycle... right?... :-)

UncommonGoods Gifts Made of Recycled Materials

TrueMajority Shop

A Greater Gift

National Organization for Women Holiday Store

Green Toys

Heifer International

Bibelot Fair Trade Gifts

P.S. From my friend Cathy's blog: Green shipping alternatives--Country Living, Dec 2007, pg. 24A. Use real peanuts, not styrofoam. Or wrapped peppermint candies, or scrunched up sheet music, or pinecones and greenery.

SONG: Christmas is a Time for Giving by Nicolette Larson

BOOK(S): Unplug the Christmas Machine: A Complete Guide to Putting Love and Joy Back into the Season by Jo Robinson, Jean C. Staeheli

The New Green Christmas: How to Make This and Every Holiday an Environmental Celebration by Evergreen Alliance

POEM: Prologue of the Earthly Paradise by William Morris

Of Heaven or Hell I have no power to sing,
I cannot ease the burden of your fears,
Or make quick-coming death a little thing,
Or bring again the pleasure of past years,
Nor for my words shall ye forget your tears,
Or hope again for aught that I can say,
The idle singer of an empty day.

But rather, when aweary of your mirth,
From full hearts still unsatisfied ye sigh,
And, feeling kindly unto all the earth,
Grudge every minute as it passes by,
Made the more mindful that the sweet days die—
—Remember me a little then I pray,
The idle singer of an empty day.

The heavy trouble, the bewildering care
That weighs us down who live and earn our bread,
These idle verses have no power to bear;
So let me sing of names remembered,
Because they, living not, can ne’er be dead,
Or long time take their memory quite away
From us poor singers of an empty day.

Dreamer of dreams, born out of my due time,
Why should I strive to set the crooked straight?
Let it suffice me that my murmuring rhyme
Beats with light wing against the ivory gate,
Telling a tale not too importunate
To those who in the sleepy region stay,
Lulled by the singer of an empty day.

Folk say, a wizard to a northern king
At Christmas-tide such wondrous things did show,
That through one window men beheld the spring,
And through another saw the summer glow,
And through a third the fruited vines a-row,
While still, unheard, but in its wonted way,
Piped the drear wind of that December day.

So with this Earthly Paradise it is,
If ye will read aright, and pardon me,
Who strive to build a shadowy isle of bliss
Midmost the beating of the steely sea,
Where tossed about all hearts of men must be;
Whose ravening monsters mighty men shall slay,
Not the poor singer of an empty day.

QUOTE: "Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand ­and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it is too late." ~ Marie Beyon Ray

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