December 5, 2013, by Helen Whitehead

Advent calendar #5: A handmade Christmas

In a particularly seasonal addition to our Advent Calendar, Dr Mike Clifford tells us about sustainable Christmas gifts:

A few months ago I picked up this book from a book sale in the Portland Building. Rev. Billy is a larger than life environmental campaigner / performance artist who, together with the “Church of Stop Shopping” has taken Starbucks, Disney and Chase Manhattan to task regarding their lack of action on climate change and general corporate greediness. He’s currently facing up to a year in prison for his unorthodox approach.

This video ”What Would Jesus Buy” tells the story of when Billy and the church choir toured America giving impromptu flash-mob style performances across the nation. Billy’s message is that we should buy locally made goods if we need to, and to cut the consumption around the holiday season. It’s a powerful reminder and a challenge to our consumer culture.

This year, in true Kirstie style, my wife and I are trying to make rather than buy presents. My sister-in-law is getting some limoncello and other relatives and friends will get homemade Christmas puddings and jars of mincemeat. Hyacinth and narcissus bulbs are poking their heads above the soil in flowerpots in my shed, hopefully just in time to give as Christmas gifts. I’ve also taken up loom knitting. I like the repetitive movements involved in loom knitting, and as I wind the yarn around the pegs, I think of who I’m making the scarf for. Perhaps I’ll add a “thinking of you” tag when I gift wrap the finished items and this year it might be true.

Written by Mike Clifford

Posted in Advent calendarMOOC TeamSustainabilitysustainable lifestyle