No, I’m not cussing again. We’ve decided to have a freegan Christmas.
Here’s a basic definition from freegan.info: “Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed.”
I’m not quite ready for, or living in a locale that lends itself to, some of the more extreme freegan practices, but the pressure, stress, and general climate of consumerism that comes with our modern American Christmas seems like a good place to start implementing some of freeganism’s ideas.
I’m tired of dreading the month of December. I hate worrying about money, of all things, when I should be thinking about the birth of my Savior. Finagling the funds from the budget (or blessing Visa and MasterCard) is a huge stress. I have neither the time nor the desire to spend hours breathing recirculated mall air with a bunch of other cranky shoppers or wasting whole days staring at pages of online goods.
So this year I won’t be redecorating my entire house in the latest Christmas theme, or rushing out to buy new strings of lights and begging hubby to climb on the snow-covered roof in below-zero weather to install them. There will be no mad scramble for wrapping paper or last-minute items for unexpected guests.
Gifts must be upcycled, thrifted, donated, traded, or otherwise of little to no expense. Things made from materials we already have lying around, gifts of service or time.
We’re going to have to be creative, and we’re going to have to think, literally, outside the box. And outside the box stores!
I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
For more information on freegan living, check out the following:
Squatters (NY Times)
Four Easy Ways to be a Freegan (US News and World Report)
How Far Would You Go? (Oprah)
Woman in Phoenix gathers wasted food and uses it to feed the homeless. (YouTube Video)