Oh no! My Son’s Growing Up and Changing our Family Traditions!

December 31st, 2011

In years past, I’ve blogged about the beauty of the Advent season  and taking time during the frenetic holiday season to Slow Down and Relax.

This year, I took my own advice, and did less blogging – and working – and more cookie baking!  But we still practiced – or tried to practice – the Advent Calendar tradition I’ve chronicled here the past few years.  Tried to practice? That’s what happened when my nine-year-old ig Boy announced he’s too old to read the Christmas story out loud, and wanted to save all his Advent calendar chocolates for one night. In an instant, one of my favorite Christmas traditions was changed – at least for this year.

I was optimistic that our tradition of celebrating the twelve days of Christmas would hold, though. Until Mr. Grown-Up challenged my assertion that it was the Fifth Day of Christmas – and maintained that Christmas CountDown Calendar was only meant for the days leading up to Christmas.

It’s just one more reminder to enjoy each moment, for as well we all know – they grow up so fast. How have your holiday traditions changed as your kids have grown?  Leave a comment and share!

And if I don’t get another post up today, well, Happy New Year! :)

– Lynn

Holiday Blues Got You Down? A Few Tips to Deal with Depression

December 30th, 2011

Christmas Day may be over, but the holiday season is still in full swing, with New Year’s just around the corner. What happens when “the happiest time of the year” is anything but happy? It’s something the @GreenMoms of the Green Moms Carnival discussed when one of our tribe confessed that she was down in the dumps and didn’t feel like blogging. We all chimed in with advice, and Anna of Green-Talk suggested that if we shared it, our thoughts  might help someone else.

We hope the advice we shared with our friend will make the holidays a bit more bearable if you’re struggling too.

I grew up with a Mom who expected every holiday to be like something straight out of Norman Rockwell’s version of perfect Americana. When it didn’t work out that way, she got depressed.

Here are a few tips that may help you – or a friend – deal with the holidays when you feel anything but joyous.

1. Take it easy. If you’re a blogger, don’t feel you have to post all the time. Stop, relax, take time to do what YOU want to do.

2. See if you can volunteer. Sometimes helping others can make your load seem easier.

3. Seek professional help. Anti-depressants and talk therapy BOTH work. Find out what works for you. If you don’t want to visit a therapist, and you are a person of faith, talk with your rabbi, minister, or priest.

Best wishes to you -

Lynn

Looking for Green Gifts? Better Check out What @GreenMoms Recommends…!

December 17th, 2011

A bout with a crazy strep virus that raged through my household kept me from posting the latest link to our monthly Green Moms Carnival -sorry! This one is on Green Gifts…and there are some fantastic tips from some of the green blogosphere’s top green bloggers. So head on over to Citizen Green, for the Green Moms Carnival Take on Green Gifts.  Enjoy!

– Lynn

How to Find the Perfect “Green” Gift for a Green Gal

December 11th, 2011

“Green” is now so mainstream, that most Americans will have at least one “greenie” on their holiday shopping list. But how do you buy a gift for someone who likes to Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Refuse (to Buy?)

Well, you start by taking her preferences into account. This probably means thinking out of the box – perhaps buying experiences, like tickets to a concert or other event, rather than yet another “thing.”

On the other hand, because of the 4Rs, you’ll find many green gals hanging on to items well past their normal lifecycles. She’s the one with the old pair of Uggs (the sheepskin’s nearly worn off), the ancient dish towels, and the cracked iPhone (Gen1 of course).  New replacements are often gratefully accepted! (There you go, my Christmas list is now public, courtesy of this month’s Green Moms Carnival on Green Gifts).

Want to offer something more personal? Think recycled or upcycled chic. Green gals love to support small green businesses and eco-chic designers who market fair trade, organic and upcycled goods.

Here are a few of my go-to sources:

Eco-artware has a fabulous selection of high quality, upcycled jewelry, handbags, and giftware.  The web’s original purveyer of recycled gifts, owner Reena Kazman has been promoting the works of environmentally conscious artists and designers for more than a decade, back when, she says, “people thought recycled meant dirty.”   Reena, a Washingtonian, was one of my first “green” clients back in 2008, in the early days of Twitter.

Greenfest is one of my favorite spots to stock up on holiday gifts. It attracts a number of the country’s top eco-artists and boasts an incredible fair trade pavilion. But alas, there’s no Greenfest right now for those seeking holiday gifts! The next best idea is to check out the Holiday Green Gift Guide sponsored by Green America, the organizer of Greenfest.

One of the featured merchants at Green America is Greenfield Paper, my favorite source for beautiful, plantable seed paper. True greenies know that the “electronic is better” bit has been way overhyped – especially when you consider that most Americans still rely on dirty coal for power.

No time to order online? If you live near Washington, DC, stop by Bethesda’s Creative Parties and check out their extensive line of recycled pens and papers, along with other creative, eco-friendly gift ideas. Located right across the street from community sustainability initiative Bethesda Green, the store’s owner, Tracy Bloom Schwarz, is a big supporter of both Bethesda Green and the local green economy.

I could go on and on with ideas…we greenies aren’t really that hard to shop for!….But please, do avoid plastic items (unless recycled or upcycled) and “eco” items shipped over from China. Need more ideas? Check out the Green Moms Carnival on Green Gifts on Monday over at Citizen Green.

– Lynn

 

 

 

Thanks Again to All Who Helped @GreenMoms #SaveGreenMoms

December 10th, 2011

Some of you know that we had a crisis with the @GreenMoms Twitter feed over the Thanksgiving holiday. It disappeared.

Poof. 72,000+ followers, just gone…in Twitter Hell Account Suspension-Land.  Which, it turns out, is a pretty mysterious place, without any instant communication – 140 characters or not.

It was incredibly frustrating to deal with this, especially coming as it did during our Black Friday carnival.  (We resisted the temptation to think our ill-timed suspension was a corporate plot to block our anti-consumerist messages on the biggest shopping day of the year! Although Lisa of Condo Blues did blog, “Does Twitter Hate Green Moms?”).

But thanks to a lot of support from our friends online  – one of whom, Maryanne Conlin(aka MC Milker), even intervened behind the scenes at Twitter HQ – and a diligent Twitter customer service rep, we finally got our account back on November 30th. On December 7th, I received an email from Twitter support explaining that @GreenMoms had been caught in a spam filter.

It was frustrating on a personal level, and frankly, scary on a professional level. I thought of the many Twitter accounts I’ve launched for clients – accounts that are now lifelines for many non-profits and green businesses.  What if a mysterious “account suspension” happened to them?   Or what if it happened to an activist relying on Twitter for communications during a crisis situation?

Much has been made of Twitter as today’s best source for breaking news and citizen journalism. But can Twitter live up to this ideal if well established accounts can be made to suddenly disappear, with no recourse, no response, no explanation for days? And what of the many organizations that have come to rely on Twitter as an integral communications channel?   As the old saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Here’s where you can find GreenMomsCarnival on Facebook and on GooglePlus.  Here’s our Homepage, with listings of all of our carnivals. Our next one, on Green Gifts, runs Monday at Citizen Green.