I have a love-hate relationship with Christmas. It is full of guilty-pleasures: big feasts that come with the inevitable weight gain, holiday shopping that is so easy to go overboard, and the best and worst thing: those cheesy jingles that are played everywhere.
In a city rife with consumerism, unless you are a saint, it is indeed hard to resist those guilty-pleasures especially during the holidays. But you have a choice -- you can be mindful while celebrating. Mindfulness, not abstinence, is the key.
Here are some practical tips for mindful feasting and gifting from our Green Monday team.
- Go Asian
The majority of Hongkongers will flock to restaurants offering American/ European-style Christmas dinners that overflow with meat and poultry to justify how overpriced they are. Be mindful and remember: the best thing about Christmas is not turkey or gravy. The best thing about Christmas is time with your family and friends. So why not try an Asian restaurant for a change? It will be much easier to book and the ambient would be pleasantly quieter. What’s more, you won't be forced to return the table for the next round of diners before you're done exchanging all your family anecdotes.
- Home-made Christmas dinner
For even more bonding time with your family, treat them to a healthy home-made Christmas dinner! We recommend plant-based meats like Beyond Meat and Gardein (available at Green Common). Your relatives won't be able to tell it's not real meat.
- Donation to Charities
My colleague received a very special Christmas card this year. His friend donated $200 to a charity on his behalf and he got the thank you card. She also made this gift to 250 more recipients. Everyone really appreciated her thoughtfulness and kindness. This is the true yuletide spirit!
- Gift Green
Every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the world you want. Each act of consumption can either bring us closer to a more sustainable world or away from it. Think of how Mother Earth has made our lives so awesome. Doesn't she deserve a Christmas present too?
Simple steps to gift green:
1. Choose plant-based gifts to reduce carbon footprint
2. Choose gifts that have less packaging
3. Choose ethical products (i.e. fair trade, biodegradable, locally made etc.)
- Gift coupons
Many gifts just end up being a waste of space. For the people in your life who already have too much, gift coupons may actually make better gifts. Of course, don't disappoint your friend with cash coupons for a run-of-the-mill supermarket. Choose gift vouchers from wholesome, sustainable establishments to "spread the good karma".