Home > lisa richardson, pemberton, writer > Taking the “bah, humbug” out of Christmas

Taking the “bah, humbug” out of Christmas

“Christmas is here, the magic of Christmas, filling our hearts with glee…”

I kill the radio before I can burst my eardrums with sharpened chopsticks to prevent having to listen to another second of sentimental drivel.

Explaining why I hate Christmas in the middle of December is too much like honestly answering what motivated me to become a vegetarian while sitting down to a roast beef dinner with a table of lip-smacking people.  In politics, as in sex, timing is everything.

I’m beginning to think, in lieu of protests and boycotts and Buy Nothing Days, that channelling the annual Christmas call to bag-filled arms to better effect is not only less Grinchy, but more impactful. Be like water, says the Tao te Ching. “In conflict, be fair and generous.”

So I endorse the approach of Pique columnist Glenda Bartosh, who crowd-sourced a bunch of ideas of more mindful Christmas gifts from a bunch of folk on her contacts list, and was so grateful to have had the help that she dubbed us the  “three kings of reorientation to giving, three magical magi of originality.”

From Feet Banks

Filmmaker and reviewer, editor, quasi-rancher, creator of Notes from the Back Row (see elsewhere in this newsmagazine) and all-round original soul.

One of the best gifts I ever got was 75 bucks in my name at Kiva. I’m still loaning it out two years later. (Kiva provides micro-loans in developing areas. It works.)

From Jennie Helmer

Organic farmer, art lover, creative cook, paramedic, sharer of many good secrets about the land, and all-round original soul.

Someone is going to get my worm farm this year – it was a project I did for school. They live quite happily in a large tote in the corner of the living room. I fed them kitchen scraps for a couple of months and then, voilà, we got some beautiful worm compost out of the deal. Very low stress: they don’t complain and they work their little butts off.

From Lisa Richardson

Adventurer in words and (outdoor) life, reformed PR chick, slow food cycle creator, and all-round original soul.

Go local. My top gift options this year comprise bottles of Schramm potato vodka from Pemberton, or coffee beans from Mount Currie Coffee Co .or Paula Robertson’s Pemberton Valley Coffee or locally grown/made Namasthe Tea with beautiful pottery mugs from Amy Hazeldine’s Sunna Studio.

So I’m headed down to Mt Currie Coffee Co for lunch today, where they have a wall of handmade things from Shannon Ellis Designs, Sunna Studio, Meg Gallup pottery, and artwork by Marymary and because everything that lands in their tip jar today is going to start a Kiva account – loaning support from one local entrepreneur to a hundred others.

That, plus the initiative that just sprouted amongst my circle of oldest friends from university, to forego gift-giving, or gift-neglect-guilt, in lieu of pooling funds and making a joint contribution once a year to a charity of our choice, has made this an entirely mall-free Christmas.

Which given my reflexive tendencies towards self-mutilation when forced to listen to Christmas songs, can only be a good thing.


  1. December 13, 2010 at 21:05

    Cool piece, Lisa, and I love the idea. I wouldn’t mind getting a worm compost for Christmas. I tried to make one myself a couple of years ago, but…well…let’s just say I’m not that handy. I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to house it in the living room, though. I have a 3 year old son, and can only imagine where the little wrigglers would end up!

    Bah-Humbug to you, and may your holiday season be festive, but devoid of xmas tunes ;)

  2. elvicious
    December 13, 2010 at 22:49

    Thanks Kristy. Love your Blogher story on the toddler as a work-in-progress… Aren’t we all!? http://www.blogher.com/empathy-toddlers-work-progress

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