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Home > Features > Living Well > Seasonal > Winter > A Sustainable Solstice (Accessible)

A Sustainable...
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* Chanukka *
* Christmas *
* Solstice *

A compendium
of celebration
suggestions
tips, tools and
recipes for a
low-stress
spiritually renewing
holiday season.

What a perfect time to celebrate! It's getting colder and darker, our spirits need a lift. It makes sense to feast and visit and give gifts. Here are some ideas we've found to keep our 20th century culture from ruining the fun.

Get Inspired - De-Stress - Give Gifts - Recipes - Relax

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Inspiration

Role Models for Living Lightly on the Earth- Ghandi, Chief Seattle, Cervantes, Confucius, Thoreau and more.. Part of Living Lightly in Breadth and Depth.

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights- This site by the ORT covers it all, including history, songs, games, and how to make a dreidel.

Hanukkah- The Holiday Spot adds Books, Recipes, Hanukkah Greetings, Wallpapers, Letterheads, and Hanukkah Music to download.

Christmas Eternal- Christmas from a traditional Christian perspective.

Candlegrove- A wonderful site devoted to the Winter Holidays. Click for Ancient Origins:

  • Solstice- all about the Solstice.
  • Saturnalia- About the ancient Roman holiday.
  • Yule- The Germanic/Celtic traditions.
  • Today- Changes daily until New Years, Folklore, recipes, etc, pertinant to the day.
  • Holiday Links- Candlegrove's delightful collection of links about traditions, events, and more. (13k).

Winter Solstice- A poetic and personal celebration of Winter Solstice in Australia.

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Tips

Have a Low Impact Y2KRISTMAS - The editors of the Use Less Stuff newsletter offer their suggestions for how to have holiday fun while Using Less Stuff.

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De-Stress

Coping With Holiday Stress- A common sense FAQ about holiday stress by the President of the American Psychological Association, Dorothy Cantor, Psy.D.. Practical suggestions for dealing with family issues, time pressures, Christmas song "burnout", and more.

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Decorate

- Victorian Christmas Ornaments - Garlands, orange baskets, gilded walnuts, chimney sweep, and more...

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Give Gifts

Make your own greeting cards - Homemade Holiday Greeting cards are easy, fun, inexpensive, and a great way to be together as a family. Even very little ones can participate.

Handmade Papier-Mâché Napkin Rings - These napkin rings are a kid-friendly project. They're a great way to reuse paper and make a useful, attractive gift at the same time. easy, fun, free, and a great way to be together as a family.

Zenda's, A Simple Christmas- Easy, inexpensive recipes for holiday gifts and decorations- Decorated candles, flowerpot breads, cinnamon ornaments, and more.

Zenda's Soap and Beauty Recipes- A wonderful, carefully detailed collection of homemade soaps, bath oils, and bath salts.

Making Paper Beads- You can make beautiful, featherweight paper beads out of old catalogs, magazines and even computer printouts. Use the beads to make earrings, necklaces, bracelets and more.

Simplify the Holidays - Two very large collections of simple, frugal, delightful, gift ideas.

Berlin Work Pattern - A colorful canvas needlework pattern for a sofa-pillow, footstool, bag, etc.. Making Do- Spike Gillespie tells how to make a refrigerator magnet, along with some creative gift-buying suggestions if you happen to be in Austin, Texas. If you want more Spike, sign up for her newsletter. Send email to: SPIKEG@prodigy.com

Let there be light- Easy directions for making inexpensive, molded candles.

Crocheted Mittens and Gloves Patterns - It's getting cold out there! Keep those fingers toasty warm with these.

Crocheted Christmas Wreath Earrings - Fast and festive, these earrings are easy to make.

Edible Gifts

Wrapping it Up

Decorated Paper- Now that you've made all sorts of gifts, how about gift wrap? Making decorated paper was a popular, practical pastime during the Victorian Era. It works just as well today.

Alternatives

Christmas Gift Exemption Voucher- A "product" of Adbusters. Here are the description and instructions (Please read before clicking on the above link):

"Instead of spending their Christmas Eve trawling through the mall in a panic looking for token gifts you don't even need, encourage your friends and loved ones to spend time WITH you, not money ON you. Present them with the voucher, which exempts them from buying you Christmas presents conditional on them spending quality time with you instead. Click on the graphic to download a high-resolution version that you can print out straight from your browser window. Or even better, create your own personalized version from some of that recycled card you saved up!"

An Alternative Way of Consuming- On the other hand, it's fun to shop, and it can be a powerful tool for positive change. Paul Hawken tells how to vote with your $$.

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Recipes

Vegetarian Christmas Menus- A complete set of recipes for each of three menus- American Country, English, and Southern Italian.

European Christmas- A collection of gourmet holiday recipes from all over Europe.

Mimi's Christmas Cookie Archive- 24 classic and modern cookie recipes.

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Decorations

Beaded Garlands- Make beautiful, featherlight, recycled paper beads for stringing on the tree.

Paper Bag Angels- Get more use out all those holiday shopping bags! Easy and fun.

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Relax

Happy Christmas - share your wacky holiday moments, and a whole lot more...

Christmas Legends- Now that you're inspired, de-stressed, finished making all those gifts, and well-fed, check out the Urban Legends Christmas page to get the truth about questions like, "Where did Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer come from?", and "Are Poinsettia Leaves Really Poisonous?".

Or...How about A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens?

Christmas Carols- What could be more sustainable than singing during the holidays? Here's Yahoo's page of sites with lyrics and music for all kinds of Christmas songs.

 

 

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