Holiday Redux

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H = Holiday Redux

Starting new traditions centered around giving is a great way to teach kids the real meaning of the holidays.

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Even if you keep your consumerism in check most of the time, it can be easy to lose sight of responsible spending and sensible consumption when the holidays roll around. It seems like we’ve been conditioned to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions by buying new things for each other, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Starting new traditions centered around giving of yourself and helping others is a great way to teach kids the real meaning of holidays and to reinforce the values of conservation and resourcefulness all year round.

It’s estimated that Americans throw away 25% more garbage during holidays than other times of year.

Simple Steps

  • Give the gift of service and time. Instead of buying new gadgets for your family and friends, set aside time to do something special for the people you care about. Whether it’s a lunch date with your parents or a day of doing chores for your kids, you’ll set an example that time is more important than stuff.
  • Make donations that count. Celebrate your friends’ birthdays by making a donation in their name to their favorite charity or a local organization with whom they volunteer. This is a great way to show that you care about the causes that are important to them.
  • Ask for donations from party guests. Instead of having friends bring new toys to your child’s birthday party, ask for donations to be made to a charity of your child’s choosing. This is a great opportunity to talk to your children about helping other kids who are living with less.
  • Have a handmade holiday. There’s no limit to the gifts you can make using your own talents. Bake cookies, frame a photograph you took, or paint a picture. Encourage your kids to get involved in making gifts for family members, including you and their siblings.

Learn More

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The Environmental Protection Agency offers several tips for reducing waste during the holidays. Walletpop also has ideas for being more environmentally friendly during the holidays.