Tips and Love: Thanksgiving Lull is Over… Time for a Compassionate Christmas

The Thanksgiving lull is over, I have eaten all the leftovers, and Christmas is upon us. I wanted to discuss what I have learned in this two week food coma. 

  1. Yoga, Barre Classes, and the Gym will get you through anything.
  2. Beware of car accidents this time of year. I have had two in the last few weeks. None were my fault but everyone is on the road that normally isn’t, and the conditions are less than perfect in the Northeast.
  3. Christmas shopping is an important time to remind yourself how vegan you actually are.
  4. Take time to meditate, otherwise you will autopilot yourself past New Years and possibly into a real coma.

I would like to elaborate on all of these. Yoga class and meditation are key. I have found that this (as well as a healthy amount of shopping online instead of at the mall) have save my frustrated, over-anxious soul these past weeks. I have been trying to go to Yoga or Barre at least twice a week and the Gym 3 times a week. My diet has been less than ideal and I was bordering on becoming a “junk-food-vegan”. So I ramped it up and started listening to documentaries while I worked concerning food and reading whenever I got home rather than turning on the TV to calm my mind. This reset my brain a little and allowed me to appreciate the odd situation I was in. I have too much food. I have too much good food. This is a rarity in the World as a whole despite the jaded American view of such. I watched “Vegucated” the other day to also help reset my goals as a vegan and realized that watching someone kill a pig for meat actually bothers me intensely now. Not like a few years ago where I chalked it up to “the way things are”. I meditated on this and decided that I needed to start considering the compassionate side of things a little more seriously. The film reminded me of my dog and I can’t shake that image. So I am officially starting to remove things from my needs. I am re-prioritizing and starting fresh. I need to start focusing on healthy, organic, sustainable, and compassionate products. I need to also be these things. So to be healthy in my mind I need to always meditate. To be healthy in my heart I need to always be more compassionate. To be more healthy inside my body I need to be organic and eat for need not want and practice yoga and exercise regularly. Last, to be healthy with the earth I need to be organic and sustainable in my practices.

I realized this is overwhelming and a lot to take on but I think it is worth the effort, time, and money. I am budgeting for it now. Budgeting for a better future. It’s empowering when you think of it. So I started with Christmas. I am trying to recycle all shipping boxes and bags. I request minimal packing materials and shop through Amazon so things can be combined into one package. I am trying to commit to sustainable materials in clothes moving forward and household textiles as well as reusing  or buying second hand. I love books but rather than hard copies which I am in love with I either by used now or from Audible or for my Kindle to keep paper where it belongs, the forest. I also am reminding people to try Meatless Mondays or at least eat more locally. I even had a chat with my family about it last night and it was well received.

I know I am going to be called a hippie and that is okay. I know some people will say ” I could never do that” but I want you to know you can. You are more powerful and resilient than you know. It is absolutely overwhelming at first, but think about what you are giving each other this holiday. Think about the reason for Christmas or your holiday. It is about respecting something greater than yourself that gave up everything so you could be happy. So in a way shouldn’t we spend the holiday sacrificing for the greater good to live like those that we are celebrating? Shouldn’t we be respecting what was given to us? Just think about it when you give someone another gift certificate or candle or pair of leather gloves they already have 2 pairs of. Every year my grandmothers gave me the same thing. One gave me cash, sometimes in an envelope, other times folded into my hand, and once in a plastic shopping bag. She knew it was wasteful to wrap anything. The other gave me the exact same pair of gloves, ear muffs, and gift certificate to the mall. I donated those gloves or earmuffs every year to family, friends, or the goodwill so it ended up working out. But now I wonder about what it took to make those gloves every year and if it was really worth the $5 price tag. I am sure some child in Laos or Myanmar sat there sewing them just so I could give them away. It seems disrespectful and enabling now that I am older and wiser.The environment was also affected by the factory, I am sure. Think about what was sacrificed for that gift and if it is really worth the price tag and if it is, is it what you want that person to remember you for? Be healthy, be happy, and encourage others to also do the same.

This year I am giving only what people need or asked for that I think is also appropriate. I want to be known for giving a good gift but I also want a healthy return on my investment. My family will get wonderful gifts but all ones that inevitably are sustainable, or compassionate, or ecofriendly in some way. There will of course be a few toys or books thrown in there but I am trying very hard to stick to a compassionate theme. One of my stepdaughers loves animals so I gave her books and videos about them and how to be kinder to them both when encountering them and when living her life but I am also giving her a Nook for future books. The other is into fashion so she wants clothes. I tried to stick with cotton and veg friendly shoes instead of leather. It takes a few more minutes but it felt worth it. I felt like Christmas Shopping was more rewarding this year. Did I also mention that because I budgeted my time for this that I am already done? Yes I am. Back to that budgeting for a healthier lifestyle. I budgeted my time to reduce stress and increase happiness. It worked. So now I can handle a broken down car… or two. Accidents happen. It is all about how to handle them in a healthy way. So now its your turn. Turn your holiday around. Make it healthy for your soul, your pocketbook, and your world. I send you all pure joy.

Food is love. Happy Holidays.

The Hippie Gypsy


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