What if you…..

committed to eating no factory farmed meat? Could  you do it? What if you could change your eating habits just one day a week?

refused to buy any wrapping paper this year? Would anybody really mind if their gift came in a cloth bag?

ate one vegetarian meal a week? Rice and beans and macaroni and cheese are vegetarian.

took one day and claimed it as car free? Could you not drive at all for one day? How about two?

turned off the television for one day? What would you do with your time?

gave a used gift to a relative? Would you be embarrassed or proud?

spent not one damn dime for a full day? How about two days? Could you? Would you?

instituted a family night for playing games or reading aloud? No media allowed including telephone.

turned off the power for three hours. Could you manage?  How well?

I am just thinking here. These are all thing I suspect will be necessities in the future and I wonder about practising now. I think that adrenalin gets you through a crisis but after a few days boredom and frustration set in. That was what I saw during our ice storm last year. At first, there was a big rush to get squared away and then people got angry and started to complain and point fingers. If many of the behaviors a crisis makes necessary are ordinary, that would be less of a problem.

I think that a lot of unemployed people are going to have to have leaner holidays this year. I am willing to bet that depression will be a major problem for people living with a new reality. If that’s you, prepare now by turning off the television (the better to avoid commercials) and getting your family on board with creating new rituals. Plan a carol sing, a sledding party and family jigsaw puzzle night. Get the kids in on the deal and make them part of the process. They will be less likely to mind if they know what to expect.

This new reality will not be easy but it may turn out to be a gift. I, for one, appreciate a simple holiday. It’s less work and more fun. I won’t let any economic Grinch steal my joy.

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