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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Have a merry green Christmas!

The signs are out for Black Friday shopping which always sounds a little ominous to me. But obviously it's to announce a day when the stores hope to jump into the black and out of the red ink in their financial pages. It will take some concerted shopping on all our parts for them to go from red to black.

And probably even more to go green!

Maybe you've had a chance to read my column at www.minnesotaumc.org on having a merry green Christmas. A green Christmas usually means that there's no snow but in these days of concern about the environment--God's creation--we need to develop a new holiday greeting: have a green Christmas!

How will you make changes in the ways in which you celebrate Jesus' birthday so that you are kind and caring toward the Earth upon which he walked?

I come from a long history of paperbag wrappings so there's not too much more I can do in that department. I was thinking that maybe I could recycle ALL the gift bags we have, using colors and symbols that aren't necessarily Christmas or even winter! So someone might get a gift bag that looks more like a sunny day in the Caribbean . . . maybe not so bad!

We have an artificial tree although for years we had no tree whatsoever. We would wrap a stool with Christmas lights and put a nativity set on top. I guess you can tell we're not traditionalists.

We look like we're the only Jewish family in the neighborhood. People have been out already on the warmer November days putting up lights. There will be no lights on our house. It's an energy-saving move but the energy-saving that comes from not going out there and putting them up, not the amount of electricity used! At least we'll have a tree and you can see it from the outside. But for those who put up light, the more energy efficient, the better.

We'll probably spend less this year which won't make for a black Friday or December for anyone, except maybe us! We'll be more careful about what we give instead of the shot-gun approach that we sometimes use, hoping we hit the mark for the ones who have everything!

We enjoy giving money away at this time of the year and the rest of the year for that matter. The givingMN.org website and its Give-to-the Max day was wonderful! How can we help our churches, church-related institutions and organizations, and the denomination itself provide for this means of giving?

So tell us, how will you have a merry green(er) Christmas this year? Share your ideas and hopes to care for Earth as you celebrate Jesus' birth and maybe you'll inspire me to do more and others with new ideas!