Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Official Vegan Good Life Holiday Gift Guide: Buy Nothing

This January, no credit card bills will be arriving in my mail. I'm joining the ranks who are choosing to buy nothing. Urges The Discerning Brute's Joshua Katcher in this VegNews piece: "Make a plan. Tell your friends and family that this holiday you'd prefer not to exchange gifts, and instead, exchange words, a meal, a craft, an experience, or just friendship! It's the easiest thing to not do." I already have a festive tea outing in the works to celebrate the winter solstice.

The "buying" exceptions I'd add: gifts for children and charitable purchases for residents in need. Check out The Thrifty Chicks' out-of-the-box thinking on toy treasures. But I've asked everyone - please, no gifts. If they feel the urge to spend, I'd rather them purchase food for pantries so in need, or write a check to the local animal shelter.

Shopping? No, we'll be swapping, unwanted gifts this time, at our next swap at work in January. The leftovers will be bound for a charitable thrift store. So many receive unwanted gift items, so what better way to give them a new life and let people do some "shopping" for free just as those bills are arriving.

I thoroughly enjoy the holidays since I've rejected the materialistic aspect. I look forward to watching classic holiday specials on television, seeing the beautiful decorations at church, where the kids put on a show as heart-warming as anything you'll see at Radio City, writing out Christmas cards (purchased for 10 cents each at the thrift shop) while sipping hot cocoa and listening to my "A Charlie Brown Christmas" soundtrack, and spending time with loved ones, including our family's six-year-old dog, which we adopted through a rescue group found on Petfinder this year. Possibly the best gift ever.

Besides, if you do exchange gifts, who wants to risk ending up with "wooden broach in the shape of a turkey's head?"

Or remember the "Men of Blanche's Boudoir" calendars?

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