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Holidays’ Joy without shopping

by Naomi Aldort

I do not remember shopping for holidays as a child. I do recall giving and generosity and I recall all that I created with my own hands to give to family members. I made a weaved gorgeous scarf for my mother, for example, an embroidered pillow cover for the house/everyone, I sang for my friends, and generally crafted the gifts I gave. 

 

My parents gave me what I needed (clothing) as gifts, one gift per holiday. And, they gave me generously as needed with no dates or special reason. What I valued most was not material gifts, but time with loved ones and experiences. Experiences were either together or by myself. For example, one of the best gifts I recall is a subscription to the Symphony’s children program which was monthly. These were heavenly.

 

For most of us, our children hardly need anything. Gifts are therefore generally superfluous. Perhaps we can engage children in giving to those who actually need it. To children who don’t have enough food, clothes, educational needs, housing, and care. There are many ways to do that, year around, and not only with money, but with acts of service and kindness.

Giving and holidays were not always about shopping and are not inherently so. In fact, in most of history they were not about consumerism at all.

The transformation of celebration days into a shopping project is new. Material goods are far from the only way to give. In a way it is the least effort, as paying for something is less involved than making the gift yourself, or giving an experience rather than material goods.

In a world which is saturated with material goods and one that is getting destroyed by this surplus, I have been thinking about how to enjoy giving, peace and family connection, without the shopping; without doing harm to the planet with more driving and goods and packing and cards... or at least much less of it.

The industry propels this idea that giving is about shopping - for profit. I don’t buy that (pan intended.)

If you have similar aspirations and would like to share your ideas of joy, of giving, of sharing and experiencing without leaving footprints on our overwhelmed planet, please share in the comments. Also share any ideas for keeping the holidays peaceful, harmonious and nurturing for you and for your children and families that are not about material goods. Lets learn from each other and start a movement of “joy without shopping”. 

I am looking forward to your contributions in the comments bellow the video.

Naomi Aldort

©Copyright Naomi Aldort, 2017

 

A gift of a song for you: 

Carol of the Bells - Pentatonix 

 

 

©Copyright Naomi Aldort, 2017

 

 

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Dancing in the Rain

by Naomi Aldort, Author of Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves

 

Instead of teaching children to fight the storm, 

let them learn to dance in the rain.

 

Do you tell your parents things they are bewildered by and have no idea what you are talking about? It is very sobering to come out of many years of parenting and have your adult kids tell you things you weren’t aware of. Yet, one day your sons and daughters will surprise you with their feedback, specially if they feel free to self-express.

 

My sons are adults. Their feedback and who they are is a colossal lesson in humility. Parents can devote their soul to being the best parent they can be with ...

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Our babies are best off with human connection and with nature and the arts. Everything else seems to me like a substitute and less than the best, so I examine it carefully. Is this toy developing the baby’s intelligence? How can you know? You don’t. You know they want to sell it to you and that’s the real motivation behind marketing of toys and most products. This is all you can know. Your baby or child may master that toy and it looks complicated and requires brain power. But what it does to the total development you cannot know. You can use things; I only suggest not to believe in their value. 

  

 

Your baby does not need toys. Your child does not need toys. Toys did not exist until recent history. I grew up with one stuffed monkey that was repaired a couple of times, a couple of board games, a ball (for a limited time) and a rope. I did have a piano and attended classical music concerts. My best childhood memories are of pretend games with my brother, outdoor games with neighborhood kids with sticks, ball, acting, running and imagination, singing and dancing. These things are nature/God’s brain developing plan. Can we top it with substitutes? I doubt it. The industry wants to sell their ...

 

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I have often pointed out that boredom is good for your child; a great learning tool. It forces the child (and adult) to be in the now and generate presence which is always exciting and expanding. It is what propels true learning, self-awareness and inner connection.

 

 

What I have not focussed on is the reason a child would even see herself or himself as “bored.” What does this concept mean? Without being taught other concepts, it would not occur to a human mind to be “bored.”

 

“Bored” implies something missing. What is that something? What is missing?

 

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