Posts Tagged ‘Christmas shopping’

First day of Not So Green Exposure Project. Sunday. 9 days before Christmas. I am feeling pressure from all the stores to buy lots of stuff, in a hurry. When I opened the San Francisco Chronicle this morning, I found 25 inserts from various advertisers:

9 Days Before Christmas, and I Am Feeling the Pressure

Target: Expect More – Pay Less’. Holiday Hours: Open Sunday through Saturday 8am to 11pm’. Sony: What to Give. What to Get’. Cost Plus World Market: ‘Wondrous Gifts. Wow Prices’. Dell: ‘Wish for right now. Ask for brilliance. Wish for smiles. Ask a knockout. Wish for safekeeping. Wish for more’. Ritz & Wolf Camera. SALE. FREE’. Radio Shack. Last-minute deals worth the wait‘. Best Buy: ‘WOW’. Macy’s: 9 Shopping Days to Go’. Circuit City: Dash through your list’. JC Penney: ‘Super Hot Buys. 3 Days Only, Sunday-Tuesday, December 16-18’. Mattress Discounters: Last Chance to Save on Tempur-Pedic Mattresses’. Nikon: ‘Incredible Holiday Prices’. T-Mobile: The Exclusive Holiday Collection’. Bed Bath & Beyond: 20% off any one of our hundreds of thousands of items’. Sports Authority: ‘Save up to 40% on outerwear’. Big 5 Sporting Goods: ‘Gigantic Holiday Coupon Sale’. Sears: Entire Stock on Sale’. Mervyns: ‘Christmas Countdown Sale. Only 9 Shopping Days Left. Must-have Gifts, Can’t Miss Prices’. Crescent Jewelers: ’12 Months Interest Free. No Down Payment’. K Mart: ‘Okay, Let’s Wrap It up! Sunday 12/16 – Sunday 12/23. Monday 12/24 6am-10pm’. Magnolia Audio & Video: ‘Sights and Sounds For the Holidays. All on sale’. Pepboys Auto: ‘Holiday Gift Guide From the Boys’. Michaels: ‘Great Gift Sale. Thousands of Creative Choices’. Staples: ‘That Holiday Was Easy’. Walgreens: ‘Open’ til Midnight Thru Dec. 23′.

25 voices shouting in unison, and leaving me with a bunch of impressions, all jumbled up in my brain.

I have to go shopping for presents, I know, this is what one does for Christmas, right? Not a single mention of global warming and going green. It doesn’t fit in the whole picture. No, let us concentrate instead on the task at hand. It’s a job, and everyone is out there to help me get it done well, and fast. The mall has turned into Ali Baba’s cavern, filled up with goodies, especially for the occasion. Plus all the stuff is so cheap, and the stores are open 24/7, I have no excuses. I just have to hurry, there is no time to think too much, the good deals are in limited supply, and only for so long. If I am smart, I can even ‘save’ money, with all the sales, and awesome discounts. And for big ticket items, I don’t have to pay right away, payments can be deferred. Nothing is spared to maximize my fun of getting as much stuff as I feel like. Under the guise of getting presents, I can satisfy my urge to shop. Guilt free. It’s for others, it’s mandatory. All for a good cause, the creation of one big happy family moment. Christmas morning, unwrapping presents like mad, by the tree. Giving my love ones and receiving from them, stuff. The more, the better.

In the past I would have gone along with the voices, and seized the opportunity. This year, I am resisting it. No move yet, towards the mall. No gifts list. Christmas has become a problem. How to satisfy the children’s expectations, without compromising my growing green core? I am sick and tired of shopping. At the same time, I still love the ritual of wrapping gifts, and placing them under the tree. The more, the better. Concrete manifestations of love, displayed for all to see.

To help Green Girl Wannabes like me, there are plenty of green experts, with lots of good advice on how to green my Christmas. I will probably end up listening to them, and walk the path of compromise, buying still, only greener presents.

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Barely recovered from the post-Thanksgiving Black Friday mania, I am being asked to step right into Christmas mode. There is no avoiding the ads, the Christmas aisle at the drugstore, the daily mentions of preparations in the paper, and the creeping frenzy that I feel in my surroundings.

Real vs. Fake, Which Tree is Greener?‘ Not only do I have to get a Christmas tree, but beforehand I am to do some research and read a whole page article. Nothing is ever simple anymore. Just reading about the pros and cons of each options was enough to give me a headache:

  1. The new fake tree. It looks so real, you won’t even notice the difference. Some even have a fake smell to imitate the real thing. The stuff will last you for years. Imagine, no more trip to the tree farm every year. No more loading the monster on the top of your car. No more mess of pine needles throughout your house. No more watering. Done, you are set. And why worry about how to dispose of it? By the time you are done with it, it will be years, and hopefully by then, we will have figured out how to dispose of plastics without taxing the Earth too much. Still, there is the environmental cost of producing yet another man made plastic object.
  2. The used fake tree. There are tons of those floating around. You are not generating new plastics. This is a very reasonable option. I can’t help but wonder about the life of those trees prior to being recirculated. Did they witness happy Christmases? Who were their prior owners? How come they got ditched?
  3. The real tree. If you are like me, and can’t stand the idea of a plastic tree, go ahead, indulge yourself and your family, and don’t change a thing to your tradition. Gather your whole crew into the biggest car you own, and set out to your usual spot. Go to a tree farm to cut down your own, or just visit the nearby lot with already cut trees. It’s so much fun trying to pick the perfect tree, not too crooked, not too tall, not too short. Will it fit? We never made it as far as the tree farm, always went to the same lot close to our house. If you are environmentally correct, this is something to think about. How much gas will you use to drive to the tree farm?
  4. The live tree. Forget all that cutting and buying a fake. Instead go to the nursery, and buy a potted tree that you can reuse every year. You can bring it inside for Christmas, otherwise keep it in your yard. Of course, this is not an option for people without a yard. Nothing wrong with that option, that I can think of.

Last year, Prad and I opted for a live tree, and we will be bringing it back into the house next week. The nursery did not have a suitable pine tree, so we ended up with a holly tree instead. I kind of liked the idea of branching out, of not getting the same boring old pine. The children were disappointed. Yesterday, Catherine asked about the Christmas tree. When were we going to get one? I reminded her about the holly tree. She stormed down to her room. ‘Getting a real pine tree, that’s what Christmas is about

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