Christmas Is Not Your Birthday, Green Edition

Christmas is Not Your Birthday is an initiative started by the brains behind, in an attempt to redirect the typical holiday hub-bub and excessive consumerism surrounding the holiday season with local outreach, outward thinking, and overall giving.

In 2006 they asked readers from all over the world to simply think outside of themselves, and outside their needs and wants, for that particular holiday season. In 2007 they asked everyone to buy gifts for their friends and family that made a difference to the local and global community, to commit to buying better gifts, purchases that gave back in some way.

In 2008, Christmas is Not Your Birthday is going green. Why?

Because we all know that unless you’re Jimmy Buffet, Jesus, or Conrad Hilton, Christmas is not your birthday. And, we also know that every step we take to save the planet is a good one. And, we know that the current economic environment didn’t magically make our gift list any shorter.

I’ve been a fan of Christmas is Not Your Birthday ever since an outreach-minded friend of mine turned me onto their site and their anti-traditional holiday premise in 2006. I think we can all agree that holidays, however well-intentioned we begin, can quickly spiral into a dangerous and self-centered gift giving extravaganza, and while I like giving and receiving gifts as much if not more than the next person, it’s oh so fulfilling to trade a few gifts you were going to give or receive into something bigger than they would have been without the spirit of holiday humility and a bit of “good will toward men” behind them.

This year as part of their green initiative, Christmas is Not Your Birthday will also be offering downloadable gift tags for every green gift they suggest  on their site for this holiday season to help you explain the perpetually random-seeming gift, and why you’re giving it. Like this one:

So, please, join Christmas is Not Your Birthday each Friday between now and December 25th as they highlight one seemingly small but greatly important green gift to give someone on your list this year. Why?

Because ultimately, the holidays should be less about wanting our own stuff and instead about helping someone get their (environmental) stuff together.

See you there!

Do you have a favorite green gift to give? Or plans to give green this upcoming holiday season? Share your green gift giving ideas here and they could be featured in our own Green Giving Guide to be featured on the site in the next few weeks.

An original 5 Minutes for Going Green post. Read more about all things Kerri Anne, including her renewed commitment to green living at

2 Responses to Christmas Is Not Your Birthday, Green Edition
  1. care
    November 13, 2008 | 7:13 pm

    I make my own “green” laundry detergent from borax, natural soap (my fave is mrs. meyers) and washing soda. I am saving any small empty containers with lids (jelly jars, artichoke jars, containers from spices that I use up) and I’ll be giving the detergent in the reused jars to people for Christmas!

  2. Stephanie - Green SAHM
    November 14, 2008 | 1:55 am

    Nice idea. My sisters and I simplified Christmas gift giving long ago, but with budgets the way they are this year, we’re thinking of cutting it back more and encouraging used gifts.