What a whirlwind this holiday has been! It’s hard to refocus after all of the craziness… and to top it off, this is my 250th post! Ironically, last year’s post on the same date was my 100th post… 150 posts in one year! I knew I could be a chatterbox at times but never imagined I would chatter that much!
The holidays didn’t start in a pleasant way with both kids getting horribly sick… vomiting and other intestinal problems that shall remain without description! Our poor son’s bout arrived on Christmas Eve and continued into the wee hours of the morning, but luckily he rallied like a trooper and made it through Christmas Day. And somehow Santa managed to sneak in between the “episodes”. The way both of them were able to recover so quickly has made me an even bigger proponent of breastfeeding (yes, without getting too personal, I exclusively breastfed both of them). There is truly something to be said for the way nature “built us”… it certainly gives us a healthy, strong start that obviously continues through life. This is also a likely testament to good eating and healthy food choices!
This year all gifts were given in recycled gift bags. Not a single supply was purchased, including gift tags that were made from last year’s Christmas cards. Every recyclable ounce of paper and packaging was most definitely recycled and our recycling can “runneth over”!
I’m happy to say, during all of our gatherings, everyone pulled out the real dishes, silverware and glassware. No disposables to add to landfills… and that definitely made me happy! I don’t know if it’s my influence or our families simply didn’t want to deal with my complaining, but either way… I was happy with the outcome!
I am grateful for the generosity of our families but simultaneously cringing at the way the corner of our dining room looks like a toy store due to all of the yet-to-be-unpackaged gifts! The upside is that both of our kids have agreed that it is beyond due time to clear out all of the toys they’ve outgrown and give them to children who aren’t nearly as fortunate as they are. I think the entire family will be taking an inventory and making some generous donations (and I hope you will too).
We also gave only gifts that were on wish-lists. Those without wish-lists received gift cards or good ‘ole cashola! And who can complain about that? I just don’t think it makes sense to buy something for someone just because we think we’re supposed to give them something. It just seems wasteful to give someone something that will clutter a house… that’s certainly no gift!
Last year we were gifted with unseasonably warm weather in late December (upper 60s in Ohio!?!). This year we were gifted with a snow storm. Our kids are ready for lots of snow time, but this simultaneously means I’ll have to contend with the naysayers “Global warming my a$$!” comments. My response to this goes without saying.
One of my favorite gifts this year came from my mother-in-law: a basket made from recycled chopsticks! I think she was as excited to give it to me as I was to receive it, but it’s apparent that our family is definitely catching on to Mom Goes Green’s way of thinking!
Soon we will also re-gift last year’s Kiva donation. The money we loaned to a farmer in Tajikistan to purchase seeds for farming has been repaid, and we will donate the repaid money to another “working poor” recipient so the cycle can continue. I’m also considering making an extra donation so one more family can receive much needed financial aid. Take a look at Kiva to learn more about this amazing organization.
Overall, despite the challenge of the “pukies”, we’ve had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed all of our celebrations. Isn’t that really what the holidays are all about? I hope you created amazing memories with your family as well.
Sadly, I also know of a few families who lost loved ones, unexpectedly, during the holiday. This, unfortunately, put life into perspective.
Here’s to love, happiness, family and friends that make life worthwhile… and cheers (and fears) about the NEXT 250 posts… I’m sure there will be plenty to say!