Wow. How does one even return after a big holiday? (And wow! My 100th post… how did I get here?!?)
It was undoubtedly amazing to see the wonder of Christmas morning through the eyes of our kids as they marveled at all of the goodies that Santa had packed and delivered in his sleigh… but likely quite annoying to them when I insisted that, before playtime began, they needed to collect the wrapping paper for recycling (despite my urging for alternative wrapping, it’s hard to convince a 3- and 6-year old that Santa decided to “go green” and was wrapping presents in newspaper this year!).
Maybe I should talk about how, during all of our Christmas gatherings, I tried to convince our party-goers that “real” plates and cloth napkins were “okay with me” because they don’t create excess waste, and running the dishwasher and a load of laundry was better than the alternative. Or how, when visiting other’s homes, I tried to use real glasses and plates instead of their throw-aways!
Or maybe I should talk about how kid’s toys are so overpackaged that I am cringing at the fact that, for the first time in a long time, my garbage can is overflowing and I’m cursing all of the manufacturers for their over-abundance of unrecyclable materials… (does one PixOs package really need 17 different plastic bags?!?!).
Or perhaps I should tell you about how Mother Nature gifted us with an extraordinary day of 67 degree weather in Ohio, but I was also grumbling at her(!) because the day was spent outdoors cleaning up all of the leaves that were tucked in every corner of our yard (since an “early winter” prevented us from completing clean-up when the leaves were dry… and clean-up would have been SO much easier!) She wrapped up the evening with such fierce winds that it bent the support pole of one of our outdoor decorative trees in HALF… could have done without THAT one, lady!
I should thank our families for recognizing that we have so much already that a ton of gifts were NOT needed… and they recognized that money is still an incredible gift when it is given with a “well, we just really wanted you to use this for something you needed, or wanted, instead of buying something you didn’t”… yes, moola is still a good gift! And yes, an unused gift IS waste.
But I know I need to mention our most thoughtful gift… from our beloved friends, Jenn & Paul, who gifted us with a certificate from Kiva.org. This certificate allowed us to donate our gifted money to a “working poor” recipient of our choosing. We selected a man in Tajikistan who desperately needed money to buy seeds for farming and help support his family. Over the holiday $1.3 million dollars were given and EVERY recipient was granted their full loan! Once they are able to repay the loan, we are given back our donated money to grant to another needy recipient… and this wonderful cycle starts all over again! Amazing, what a difference was made around the globe by so many people who thought far beyond traditional gift giving and decided, instead, to help those who really need it! Thanks, Jenn & Paul! We LOVED the gift that we were able to “re-gift”!!!
In conclusion, I guess I should just say that it was a wonderful Christmas… because it was, and we are blessed. We have each other and that’s all that really matters.
I truly hope your holiday was one to remember… and full of cheer, love and the real spirit of Christmas!