Holidays Without the Hoopla

Celebrating the holidays without getting caught in the madness of the season

For the past three years, I have been fortunate enough to take part in the Green Moms Carnival annual Holiday Carnival.  Over the years, this incredible collaboration of green moms has filled the web-o-sphere with awesome green ideas for greening our holidays.  We’ve covered everything from green decorating to yummy vegetarian holidays meals to great green gifts to buy for our loved ones.

This year, I was given the incredible honor of hosting this important carnival. So I thought I’d ask the green moms in the group to try something a little different.  The theme for this year’s holiday carnival is “Holidays Without the Hoopla.”  In other words, how to make the holidays memorable, meaningful, and merry without getting caught up in the madness!

Because here is the thing, despite my inner Grinch that recoils every time I see an audacious light display or a list of “TOP TEN GIFTS YOU MUST BUY YOUR KIDS,” I actually LOVE the holidays.  Honestly, ask my kids who shy away from me in embarrassment as I parade through town wearing a Santa hat while running errands.  Or ask the members of my girl scout troop who endure the zillion extra meetings that we have in December so that we can be sure to squeeze in all of the craft projects, service projects, and general holiday fun.

And it is because of this love for the holidays that I want to know more about how other families celebrate them without getting lost in piles of planet-trashing gifts and reams of discarded holiday wrapping.

So, without further ado, I bring you the ideas from the best of the best.  The awesome members of the Green Moms Carnival on celebrating Holidays Without the Hoopla.

On keeping it simple:

Lynn from Organic Mania talks about the double conundrum that faces so many families this time of year: How to keep it simple when you celebrate both Christmas and New Years.

Lisa from Retro Housewife Goes Green, writes about how we can add more meaning to our holidays.  I love her ideas for making the holiday season more meaningful and plan to do most of them, including baking together, watching Christmas movies, and making decorations together with my own daughters.

Harriet from Climate Mama shares her tips for avoiding the rabbit hole and greening your gift giving during this harried time of year.

Karen from Best of Mother Earth shares her thoughts on keeping holidays simple:

Here’s what Jen at Puddle Jumping in DC has to say about celebrating holidays without the hoopla.

Over on my blog at Mother Nature Network, I wrote about what I’m doing to put more merry and less madness in my holiday season.

and Amber from Strocel.com makes a good point about keeping holidays simple and special.  In fact, after reading her post, I decided to skip what was sure to be a hectic afternoon of visiting Santa with my girls and opted instead to hang out at home and making cookies with them instead.

On giving “hoopla-free” gifts

Lori from Adventures in Climate Change laments the consumerism of the holiday and offers some great suggestions for gift giving that’s easy on the planet.

Diane, from Big Green Purse, has some great ideas for what to buy and what not to buy for greener shopping.

Leslie, from Recycle Your Day, reminds us to shop local, antique, and handmade this holiday season.

If batteries are unavoidable for you this year, be sure to check out Lori’s green battery guide on Groovy Green Livin.

Lisa from Condo Blues has 30 awesome homemade gift ideas for everyone (and every puppy) on your gift list.

Micaela from Mindful Momma has another great list of handmade gift ideas.  Don’t miss her recipe for homemade nutella!

Feeling minty?  You’ll love Deanne’s post on Crunchy Chicken featuring holiday gifts with a candy cane theme.

Tiffany from Nature Moms, reminded me of a great green gift idea that keeps giving all year long: season passes.

Jennae from Green Your Decor, was an excellent reminder that sometimes the best gifts don’t come from a store.

Be sure to check out Beth blog on Fake Plastic Fish for ideas for green gifts that don’t suck.

And before you start your gift wrapping, be sure to read Anna’s post over on Green Talk, where she asks us to think about whether or not our gifts even need all of those trimmings.

On green decorations and traditions:

Katy from Non-toxic Kids offers up this great idea for making God’s Eye decorations.

Corey and Lynn from Celebrate Green share their tips on making toilet paper roll gift ornaments.

I love this idea from gals at Green Phone Booth on starting a new holiday tradition with your kids: Adventing a Reader

Linda from Citizen Green shares her tips for greening the holidays.

And Diane from Big Green Purse offers up another green holiday post, this pone about the holiday traditions that mean the most to her and her family.

Big thanks to all of the members of the Green Moms Carnival for submitting all of these amazing posts!!  Do you have any ideas for celebrating holidays without the hoopla?  We’d all love to hear them!