Up until now I’ve avoided talking about a Green Christmas, but I can’t resist. It struck me today that “Green Christmas” is more than a clever turn of phrase, a variation on a theme. The holiday season is many things to many people, but one thing it represents for almost everyone is hope and belief in good things to come. This is not just about presents and sugar plums. It is also about the hope and belief in a better future, and for many of us a better future is a greener one.
My youngest is waiting eagerly for Christmas, full of belief. She still believes fully and deeply in Santa, and knows he is coming soon. Her palpable excitement and hope are inspiring. Many people are full of doubt and fear, and could use such strong belief in a brighter future. The challenges in the economy weigh heavily, and our environmental challenges remain urgent.
If I could give everyone a Christmas gift, it would be the gift of hope to take with them and carry forward through difficult times. For all of the great challenges we are faced with, I would give them the deep rock-solid belief in the future that a child feels at Christmas, the excitement about the great things that are coming our way.
There is good reason to feel this way. It can be hard to feel good about the future when things look bad, but our problems will not last forever. Someone asked me the other day where I thought the economy will be two or five years from now. I had to think for a second – I’m not sure where exactly the economy will be, but one thing I do know is that it sure as heck won’t be at the same low point it is today. Things will get better. As bad as things look for many people, the recession will pass and we will move on. I believe the same can be said of our environmental challenges. I believe we will take on these challenges and turn things around, building a more sustainable future for ourselves and our children.
Hope is not easy to wrap up and put in a box, but perhaps this is a gift that we each can give to ourselves, allowing ourselves to believe. So whatever you are faced with, I hope that you have a green Christmas, full of belief in the bright future we are all going to create together.