The sacredness of the holidays (Holy Days) bring out tradition and ceremony in the majority of us. We put up decorations we have collected over the years and bake family recipes. We join together in beautiful acts of kindness…like filling area food shelves, toy drives and community caroling. These are the things that matter, these are the things that make the gift giving season truly special.
Tradition is what you make of it…
Tradition is the weaving of the old & the new to create something that is unique to our family. About 10 years ago my family began the tradition of REGIFTING. My sister Sandy and I both simultaneously REGIFTED @ our family Yule party, it was one of the best Yuletides ever. We gave beautiful, thoughtful gifts that did not generate trash (as there was no packaging), and cleaned out the stuff from our homes we no longer needed. A few years later we started a community REGIFTING SWAP, to share the magic with others. In the last 5 years I have been thrilled to see the response from the community. The REGIFTING SWAP, is truly a community event based completely on generosity. People can come and drop off items in good quality, gift giving condition & people can come and take whatever they want for FREE! The spirit of giving is alive at these events and people come truly filled with love, joy and community spark. This year 2 other communities are joining in the love and holding REGIFTING SWAPS. It’s like a dream come true for me….less waste, and more love. You just can’t go wrong with that.
As our REGIFTING SWAP is next Saturday (December 6th, 10-4pm @ the Grindstone Cafe in Lyndonville, VT) I am eagerly going through my stuff seeing what kind of things I can get rid of. I honestly think I like this part the best. It has become my annual cleaning out. I love imagining someone else finding love in the stuff I give away. I choose with love, sometimes getting rid of stuff I still use & like. I do this because I believe in abundance! I believe in a giving river that is continuously giving back. When I give of myself, my belongings, my talents…I am contributing to this river that in turn gives back to me. I often find the things I want and need are given to me or found somewhere at a thrift store in great condition. This attitude is where abundance comes from. It’s quantum physics folks, what we believe we create. When I believe I am prosperous and have enough to share with others, I am making a statement to the Universe. I am becoming part of the whole & that whole looks out for me as well.
For me the tradition of REGIFTING comes partially from my deep desire to take care of the planet. I wed the Earth in sacred ceremony, inside Stone Hedge in the spring of 2011. It is not a vow I take lightly. My marriage to the Earth was part of my graduation into Druidry. For me being a Steward of the Earth, or Bride of Gaia comes with great responsibility. When making my offer of marriage I was asked what I was to give to the Earth. My answer was communication and action. I vowed to share knowledge through my words, knowledge on how to live a more environmental, Earth loving life. One where we acknowledge that the Earth is a living being, that we are in a relationship with. We need to treat our partner with love, kindness and respect. I also vowed to walk my talk, to take action and make changes in my own life that allow me to lead by example. I take my responsibility to heart….I believe we as a people are suffering from a disconnect to what is real and of value. We have been caught up in a marketing nightmare which steadily streams propaganda at us telling us we need to consume more in order to be happy.
But here is the truth of it folks…money does not buy happiness! Stuff does not fulfill us. In fact most people end the holiday season feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and over spent. The budget they thought they had was consumed early on and the over budget spending catches up when the fancy lights and glitter comes down. And here is another fact, Americans generate 25% more waste from Thanksgiving to New Years. That’s not all wrapping paper peeps…some of that waste is gifts people didn’t really want, and packaging from all our Brandy-New stuff. We need to change our traditions. Remember tradition is the weaving of the old and the new. Traditions get changed, hell they have been actively being changed since the 70’s. When I think back to my childhood, I generally got one big toy and a couple little ones for Christmas, plus some clothes, art supplies and candy. Over the years the shear amount of gifts people need to have under the tree has exploded. Why? Marketing, marketing, marketing. Christmas stuff is out before Halloween now. Really? I wonder why? Can it be that constant exposure has an effect on us? Why yes, yes it does & the people creating the clever marketing ploys know this. I am not telling you to give up gift giving, nor am I suggesting you never buy anything new. What I am suggesting is that you become a conscientious shopper. That you see through the hype and propaganda and ask yourself if it is necessary. Those of us with wee people in the our families (children & grandchildren, nieces and nephews) need to remember we are teaching our littles what is normal. If we show them we are educated, environmentally conscious shoppers then we will raise them to be the same. We need to teach the next generation that less is more, take back up the old adage of Waste not Want not. Our grandparents lived by this motto, they strived to make it last. Now we live in a world that teaches throw it out and get the new model. Well that waste doesn’t just go away, it’s building up. It’s’ time to stand up and be accountable. Remember we are creating the world we are giving to our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren. Let us be remembered as the people who made a difference, who chose a more noble path. A path filled with the Spirit of the Sacred.
I wish to each and everyone of you a Holiday Season filled with joy, love, laughter and sacred responsibility. I will be posting little tips throughout the season to help you make the shift, and recreate holiday traditions that honor both family, ancestors and the earth itself.
spreading holiday cheer & love-salicrow