There is a battle for my soul this holiday season. For years, I have envisioned my children running down from their rooms on Christmas day to an enormous tree and diving into a pile of gifts with unbridled euphoria. I always glaze over the part when 24 minutes later, disappointment in their youthful eyes and colorful, torn paper at their feet, they gasp, “Is that all there is?” Yup, now 18 more hours to kill til Xmas is finito.
There are a few hiccups with my idealized scenario. First of all, my daughters are Jewish. But long before my husband and I said, “I do,” we hammered out a holiday compromise in a very intense interfaith class. We practically had to hire an attorney to work out a settlement but we got it done. We decided to honor both Hanukkah and Christmas with all their cultural traditions. No Harry the Hanukkah bush. No 8 days of Christmas. Both holidays are celebrated independently and completely. So that means 3 year-old Dylan and nearly 1 year-old Summer would be riding the Santa Menorah gravy train.
But Al Gore has ruined it all. Damn, that formerly hunky vp. I have deep green guilt. I am bothered by the commercialism of the holidays. All the toys we don’t really need. All the wrapping paper that will be tossed into landfills. All the junk that you’ll receive and immediately want to purge. I desperately want only to buy earth friendly, wooden toys for my girls but I know Dylan would just fly to the stars for that plastic, piece of crap Elmo Sing-with-me Karaoke machine. I think the moment you buy one, the temperature of the earth goes up one degree. I’m overheating just thinking about it all.
So what is a Christmas lovin’, Jew marrying, eco-girl wanna be like myself supposed to do? Well for one, definitely no wrapping paper. Santa has switched to newspaper. Rudolph, who has always been the most earth conscious of the reindeer bunch, actually suggested it. When we have the choice, we will buy earth friendly products. We’ll indulge in a little plastic only when it makes our children’s hearts expand with recycled joy.
Mommy Poppins, another eco-mama, suggested buying gifts that create togetherness like tickets to an event or an offer to do something special together. Dylan has been begging me to take her to the merry-go-around in Central Park so I like that idea. Would I have to purchase a carbon offset? Maybe I’ll get one in my stocking.
mama bird notes
Contributing mama Daphne Biener admits when she’s been outsmarted by her 4 year-old. Click on “contributing mamas” to read more.
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