Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Yule-tide musings

Andrew and I, living on a budget, have been trying to enjoy a more frugal lifestyle and benefit from that which is "free". Seeing value in the moment, in the experience as opposed to the object is a difficult road for most of us who've been indoctrinated and "brainwashed" in our society's culture of consumerism.

Christmas is the most flagrant example of consumerism at it's best. Oh the excitement of opening a gift, of seeing all those prettily packaged boxes under the tree. I'm not going to lie, it's pretty darn exciting every time. 

At the same time I LOVE giving. I adore searching out the perfect gift and seeing the receiver's face when they open it. My most fond memories of Christmas though, have to do with family gatherings and friends over on Christmas Eve, with the tree decorated, some spiced rum eggnog and apple cider and Christmas carols sung while I played the piano. 

All of November I sincerely resisted all the beginnings of Christmas season preparations (mostly due to the ridiculous consumer aspect). Now that December is here I find myself starting to get excited again. Excited to actually decorate our apartment for Yule this year. For finding perfect little gifts and searching out fun-free Holiday season-type stuff to do.

On this day of the full moon, while I watched the moon set this morning and rise this evening, so fantastically full and ready... My thoughts moved to what I want to preserve this December.

Here are my small December-Yule Mini-Adventures:

- Embrace my Personal Practice as it has faltered a tiny bit.
- Discover some fun free activities in the city such as caroling
- Decorate our apartment sustainably and cheaply
- Bake something seasonal and yummy
- Find small meaningful gifts for family members- either "green" or handmade
- Officially celebrate Yule/Winter Solstice with a bit of ritual
- Have a Christmas/Yule supper with friends who are remaining in Halifax
- Watch some fun Christmas movies like "The Muppet's"
- Practice Yoga and kindness
- Mom- when you read this: have a fun Christmas Eve with music!
- Bring my guitar to the hospital and sing Christmas Carols to Grand-mere and other hospital bound persons.

Some of these adventures will involve posts :)

What will you be doing for the Holiday season this year?


article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. i'm going to decorate more this year than last year, but trying to do it very sustainably, which i'll blog about once i'm done. i'm finally getting on the ball and buying a lot of my xmas presents from etsy instead of stores. i'm doing a lot of cookie baking with friends! taking a lot of time off work this month and going away for lots of mini trips yay!

  2. We have really stepped back from some of the expected Christmas activities/trappings over the past few years. We donate money to three charities instead of giving gifts, donating the same amount that we would have spent on presents. We aren't decorating at all this year - usually we will put up a few things, but this year we decided to forego it altogether, just because. I want to do some baking and sharing of baking with the time instead :) For the last few years we have tentatively celebrated the Solstice by not turning on any lights, to just experience the plain darkness on the longest night of the year (which at my latitude is about 17 hours of darkness on that day). I'm tempted to have a little fire in the firepit outside if it's not too cold. I worry a bit that family will think I've gone "pagan" though, if I do that. I haven't decided yet if I will do it anyway....

    Your yuletide plans sound lovely :)

  3. Every year I mean to do a Yule ritual and every year I get lazy and forget. Not this year! You've been such a good influence on me and inspired my own personal yoga practice adventure, so maybe your magic will encourage me to craft my Yule celebration. :) Perhaps it will involve our backyard fire pit and some mulled cider....

  4. This year I'm doing something new and having my girlfriends over for a luncheon. We're going to have hot chocolate and some yummy snacks, it'll be great. Also, I love to watch "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" to get in the spirit : )

  5. I love the list of Yule Cheer inspiration...both ecofriendly and anti-consumerist. In that vein I have decided against presents this year if I can help it, besides homemade items, food, and maybe a story or two. I almost forgot Muppets though, sacralidge!

    Thanks for putting me in celebratory gear, I too have been avoiding :). I am looking forward to unpacking my grandfather's homemade manger set--a gift given to all of the family members before his passing.

    Sending Yuletide cheer and yogic vibes your way!

    I am also on the hunt for free and festive activities :)!

    Teresa at

  6. Growing up, Xmas was my favorite holiday. I loved the festivity: the wondrous tree, presents, shopping for presents, baking sugar cookies. Now, as an adult, my own household is low-key about it. I don't even write a pile of cards anymore, and gifts are limited to my closest family. But I'm feeling that holidays are meant to be celebrated (I'm Buddhist, not Christian, but it's the underlying attitude, no?). So I might make more of an effort this year. Not spending money, but not flaking out on baking my special cranberry-orange bread and so forth.

    Thanks for the reminder of why the Xmas season is fun!

  7. Oh what a perfect post. I've been having a slow meltdown about this for the past week (hence my recent lack of posts). I LOVE the Christmas season, and always look forward to decorating. But...I don't have a lot of decorations, and never spent Christmas as part of a serious couplehood.

    We don't have stockings, no tree (and not sure what route to take in that one - probably a potted one), and the house pretty much looks the same as always. We don't have any traditions've been trying to figure out what to do and kinda missing my old life a little bit. Just a little.

    I know I'll figure it all out, but it's hard doing something new!

  8. We're totally keeping it simple this year. Mass with my family on Christmas Eve and then Himself and I are going to the seaside on Christmas day (I realise this is madness in England in December but still). No presents (although the cats will get something) and then Boxing day with mum and dad.

    When you have cats you cant put presents under the tree. They would not stay wrapped for long!

  9. Decorating this year, for me, was such a rush. First home! I was peeing my pants :D My favorite part is sitting by the fire, with just its light and the lights from the tree and just being. Bliss.

    I'm not a crafty type. I usually get pissed and give up because things don't turn out perfect. But, this year, I made gifts for all my friends and extras for hostess gifts. I'm ridiculously proud of myself. I'll blog about them and show pictures once I've given them out.

  10. Looking forward to hearing green deco tips! Our studio could use a few fresh ideas for sustainable Christmas decorations :)

  11. Thanks for dropping by my blog.
    I was having the same problem with the commercialism of the holidays but I am slowly coming to see it is all In how I let it affect me, I choose to find the peace and joy in the season, in giving and receiving meaningful gifts and spending time with friends and loved ones.. and most importantly remembering to stop, take it all in and breathe.. Wishing you a joyous season.

  12. Julia: etsy!!! sigh, I need to do more of that.
    I also LOVE the idea of cookie baking with friends.... hmmm, perhaps I will steal those ideas :)

    Theresa: lol, well you said some different things in both posts so that's why I posted them- but I think that there may be something wrong with blogger, it's happened before.
    I love the idea of having no lights for winter solstice... and sometimes a bit of 'pagan' isn't bad lol. the wreath and yule log are pagan after all :)

    Vegan: lol- and you on me!! I think more about meat issues since i've been reading your blog! I think backyard firepit and apple cider sounds awesome... wish I had a firepit... :)

    Teresa: I'm glad! I really wanted to buy my father a goat/well or something... he's so difficult to buy 'stuff' for. instead- gift certificate at a fly fishing store.

    How COULD you forget the Muppets??? 'Light the lamp, not the rat!' lol. awesome.

    Jamie: the Grinch reminds me of Home Alone... sad but true. What a fun idea- a holiday luncheon :)

    Yogaspy: yep, it has taken me a while to be ok with the holidays and finding my own way to celebrate. My mom is Catholic, so going to mass is very important for her- and I love the choir carols. I could be so happy just listening to classical choir holiday music (live!).
    that is my goal to find a free one...

    Greenspell: awww!! I hope you find that awesome spirit, as there are many ways to decorate without spending a ton of money. I bet you could pop popcorn and make garland!

    Rachel: sounds so wonderful! why would it be crazy to go near the ocean? you're not swimming are you? lol, the Atlantic is such a beautiful ocean- I love the powerful wind and cold air...

    Babs: cannot wait to see your pictures!! Yay new space!

    Meagan: fun! I will be posting soon with some thoughts!

    KarenD: so true- we need to stop and breathe. :) loved your blog!

  13. Reading your post just got me all excited too - I love giving presents but hopeless at receiving them. Christmas is definitely about family for me. Cheers to you hon!

  14. Hi Eco Yogini,
    I'm following you now! On Wednesday, I'm going to a 10-day silent meditation course..I guess that's what I'm doing for the holidays. I went down to the waterfront in Seattle today to watch the sunset and look at the Christmas Ships. I just plan on going with the X-mas flow........ Love your blog!


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