I gotta say: having a Jewish mom and a Christian dad makes this time of year awfully merry.
I don’t want to stray too far from the permacultural path I have started down on this blog, so here are a few stories from the Christmas holiday, with a little permaculture ethic to add a nice little ribbon on top at the end.
Christmas Eve – much like the solstice, such an interesting time of anticipation, and of knowing that, once the day arrives, it’s another 365 days until it comes ’round again. My brother and I kicked off the day with some basketball down at UNH, and I gotta say – there’s still some game in these ol’ boots. Me and the layup still have some things to work out, but it was two hours full of fun that enabled the following two days of wonderful broken-body laziness.
Christmas Eve, my family took a tour down memory lane, and made the 40 minute trek back out to Auburn, our old hometown, to attend the Christmas Eve service at the Methodist Church. We are lucky to be close with both the pastor and rabbi in town (again, big ups to mom and dad), and it was absolutely wonderful to have an opportunity to catch up with Pastor Cullen for a bit after the service. Not only that, but my eighth grade math teacher Mrs. Shore, whom I haven’t seen since eighth grade, was also there! We recognized each other immediately (even despite my longish locks), and we had an incredible conversation about where our lives had taken us, teaching, and the pursuit of daily joy. It was honestly inspiring to hear all that she was doing as a teacher to keep things fresh, engaging and meaningful. It was also great to know that she still remembered having given me a B on one of my tests. I needed someone to keep me in line when I was a kid, and she always did. Mrs. Shore – you rock!
Of course, it wouldn’t have been Christmas if we hadn’t watched the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie, starring the Griswolds. The Muppet Christmas Carol also made an appearance, as did Inception on Christmas evening. I suddenly don’t know if those sugar plums dancing in my head were just a dream, or real – or does it even matter? Inception – why have you done this to me?! 😉
Christmas itself was, of course, a time all about family and gifts that needed no wrapping paper (though there were those too). As much as I’ve resisted, I accepted the new jeans that my mom picked up for me, and as much as I am trying to limit my purchase of new things these days (’cause honestly – do we need more clothes in this world?), I have to admit – they fit and feel pretty great. Mom knows I suppose.
I personally tend only to purchase gifts if I feel they have meaning or are very distinctly needed, and this year, decided that my gift to my parents would be to introduce them to the Kiva loan program. This is where the permaculture “fair share” ethic comes into play – I thought taking some time with my parents to introduce them to the Kiva concept would be a great way to share all that we are lucky to have, and to connect as we searched together to find a cause or person to support (a stacked function gift if you will). If you haven’t heard of Kiva – please check it out! It’s a great way to make a difference in the life of another even if your own resources are limited, and a wonderful way to make direct connections with folks who may be on the other side of the globe.
’tis the night after Christmas now, and the count down begins to a New Year with many exciting and important things waiting to unfold. I hope the holidays were happy for all, and I look forward to reflecting with you more in the coming days.
Not having to dream of a white Christmas by any means (or wait – am I? damn you Inception!),