Take time and enjoy the season with family and friends. It’s not about the gifts. It’s not about making the perfect meal. It’s about being together.
The holidays are a cherished time of year. While I can be a bit of a Scrooge at times, I definitely appreciate sharing the holiday season with family and close friends, snuggling up by the fire with my dog and watching holiday movies, making meals together, and genuinely enjoying time spent among loved ones.
I say I’m a Scrooge mainly over decorations being put up too early (this year I honestly saw a Christmas tree set up in someone’s window back in September), Christmas music played on loop 24/7, and the overall consumerism and materialism associated with the holiday. I enjoy picking out and giving gifts, especially those that are meaningful, handmade and locally purchased. But what drives me bonkers is the idea that giving and receiving gifts is the only part of the holiday season. Purchasing gifts just because they’re on sale or because you feel you have to is not the right attitude. Finding gifts for people that they will use, that will make them laugh, or that they will cherish are better alternatives. And don’t feel you have to buy everyone in your life something. Make a big batch of cookies or apple cider to bring to the office or give to relatives. Everyone enjoys feeling special and included, and giving a handmade food item is a great way to do that, without breaking the bank or attributing to more “stuff.”
In Green Living’s December Unity issue, enjoy articles on overcoming mind clutter; a celebration of holiday culture; cooking with the Godmothers; Dr. Gladys McGarey, the Mother of Holistic Medicine; fur parents; and more. Don’t miss our holiday recipes on pages 40-41, featuring a fall cocktail to warm you up, roasted carrots and cucumber pumpkin appetizers, and homemade baklava. Also learn about local realtor Franca Amoroso-Chang in our cover story about why embracing diversity and promoting sustainability is important to her and her family.
Please join us at our Simple Solutions Summit community event coming up on Saturday, December 10, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Tempe Buttes resort. We will have a panel of local expert speakers from ASU, City of Phoenix, DLR Group, HonorHealth, Maricopa County Air Quality and SRP discussing their simple solutions on six pillars of sustainability: air, education, energy, food, water and waste. We will also have over 40 interactive booth exhibits, a kids’ area with hands-on activities, an Eco Tank competition where budding eco- and social-entrepreneurs can pitch their green and social good ideas to a panel of judges and win prizes and much more. For more information and to RSVP, visit greenlivingaz.com/register.
Be sure to browse our Green Gift Guide on starting on page 22 for local inspiration! Just don’t forget to take time and enjoy the season with family and friends. It’s not about the gifts. It’s not about making the perfect meal. It’s about being together.
Amanda Harvey | Associate Editor