Jill Fehrenbacher, Editor-in-Chief: This Christmas I’m laying low in my apartment in New York City with my husband and son and our little potted, LED-festooned Christmas tree. We don’t enjoy the holiday travel hecticness, so we’re relaxing in Manhattan, baking delicious vegan cookies, spending plenty of time on Skype talking to our relatives on the west coast, and having some friends over for a vegan Christmas dinner tonight. Merry Christmas everyone!
Mike Chino, Managing Editor: This Christmas I’m headed back home to Southern California to spend the holiday with my family and close friends. I’ll be wrapping up gifts in recycled paper (brown paper packages tied up with string) and I’m going to encourage my family to seek out a christmas tree recycling program once the holidays winds down. In between sustained bouts of feasting and celebrating I’m also hoping to fit in some surfing!
Yuka Yoneda, Senior Editor: This year, I’ll be spending my holiday with my family at my mom’s apartment in Queens, New York. I think my green Christmas sentiments can best be expressed by this poem created by the holiday poem generator found here:
Christmas at the Yonedas
No tree or decorations, but enough food and booze for 10 (we are a family of 3, but we have large stomachs)
People saying “Thank you. It’s exactly what I wanted!” when presented with practical gifts that they actually need like shampoo
Lasagna probably, but not sure yet
Regifting is eco-friendly and not frowned upon (don’t get why people hate it so much)
Christmas at the Yonedas
The above picture includes the stuff that I bought for my sister. This year, instead of buying my family eco-friendly, recycled or green gifts that they might not use, I’m just giving them bundles of things they need on a daily basis – they’ll never go to waste!
Rebecca Paul, Communications Manager: This year I will be spending the holidays in Florida with my sister and her family. I plan on letting all of my peeps back in NYC know how they should be jealous of me for not being cold. A month ago I wasn’t ready for 2010 to be over, but now that it’s right around the corner, I’m just really excited for 2011 to begin – I think it’s going to be a great year! I hope everybody has a great holiday and a very happy new year.
Diane Pham, Architecture and Design Editor: This Christmas I decided to stay in New York. A seemingly lonely move – as most my family lives in Southern California – it’s actually not uncommon for people to stick around for the holiday here in the city. Thankfully a number of my roommates have found themselves in our Brooklyn sanctuary this weekend, and apart for basking in the glow of our LED-lit Christmas tree (to be recycled), we plan on hosting our very own bake off, festive dinner and hopefully a screening of Home Alone – the first release, of course!
Bridgette Meinhold, Architecture Editor: With the snow falling in feet and not just inches this winter, I’ll be getting a free workout in the snow shoveling gym at our house. To take advantage of all this wonderful snow I’m also buying myself a Christmas present this year – a new pair of all mountain powder skis from Bluehouse Skis, a Salt Lake City (Read: local) ski manufacturer that makes some awesome skis with bamboo cores. I’ll be riding in style and shreddin’ some pow this holiday season, and apart from that, I’ll be enjoying friends, parties, cooking, eating and all the beautiful holiday fair that can only happen in Park City.
Andrew Michler, Green Building Writer: Happy holidays and solstice from Colorado’s Ponderosa pine forests. Our family is coming from west coast to enjoy a season with the evergreens. We decorated a small tree in the forest with a garland from my Aunt Mill who came to America in 1910 and decorated her first tree with it. We are grateful to have all of our family here, even if only in spirit.
Timon Singh, Contributing Writer: Dear Inhabitat readers, Merry Christmas from the UK! My festive plans are of the traditional kind – Christmas at home, eating my body weight in food and watching The Muppet Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life. However, we are, as you’d expect, quite environmentally conscious in the Singh household. As well as saving wrapping paper, one trick I’ve always done is keep old Christmas Cards so that next year I can cut them down to size and turn them into gift labels. It’s a small but easy tip and it saves on throwing them all in the recycling, which can be pretty heartbreaking.
We also have all our Christmas lights on a timer, so they only come on in the evening. However, I’ll admit I have been having them on for most of the day since I finished for the holidays… Happy holidays and I will see you all in 2011!
Lea Bogdan, Contributing Writer: Christmas going to be low key this year, as I relax with my wonderful boyfriend and our lovable dog who can’t get enough time playing out in the snow. Our tiny, tabletop evergreen is adorned with the family photo ornaments we have made, and twinkling LED lights, but there will not be many packages underneath it this year. We decided that we did not want to buy each other more “stuff” we didn’t really need for the holidays. Instead we chose that our gift to each other is a vacation we will take in February. If anyone knows winters in Chicago, a vacation to somewhere warm is the best gift anyone can receive!
I have also continued my annual tradition of reallocating the funds that would be spent on sending paper greetings to my friends, colleagues, and relatives. Instead, I make a donation on their behalf to a non-profit, and send out virtual holiday greetings. This year I was inspired by the work of the Organic School Project and their mission to “transform U.S. school-aged children into healthy, more mindful eaters, one school and one child at a time.” I love what this group is doing for educating children, and it makes me so thankful to have grown up gardening and cooking with a wonderful mentor – my mom. Here’s wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday, and all the best in the New Year.
Starre Vartan, Contributing Writer:
I’m planning on making a big vegetarian feast and watching The Sound of Music at home in Connecticut and staying near my Christmas tree. After an amazing, complicated and incredibly blessed year I’m keeping it simple and close to home.
Beth Shea, Senior Editor of Inhabitots:
We traveled to a family owned local farm in Portland, OR to cut down our tree. At the end of the holiday, we will make a donation to the Boy Scouts of America, to pick up our tree and recycle it into wood chips to be used at a local playground. We’ll also be wrapping gifts in our toddler’s artwork!
Hazel Saunderson, Contributing Writer:
This year the long sunny summer days turned very quickly into short snowy winter days and transformed Scotland into a beautiful winter wonderland in early December. This gave me a healthy dose of festive spirit earlier this month, which was topped up by receiving some wonderful handmade Christmas gifts from friends: a Christmas tree shaped advent calendar (made from recycled felt and packed with homemade chocolates), a beautiful screen printed Christmas card and a golden Christmas reef made from natures finest. These gifts refreshed my beliefs that things that have stories, added value or emotions attached to them have a much higher potential for lasting longer and becoming less throwaway. I hope that all Inhabitat readers have a fantastic Christmas and also manage to keep throwaway gifts to a minimum.
Brit Liggett, New York Editor:
This holiday I’ll be spending time with my family in rural Massachusetts. We’ll be eating a delicious local feast, enjoying each other’s company and taking walks through the snowy back woods of the east coast. I decided this season to show my family my appreciation for their place in my life by handcrafting each of their presents. I spent the year collecting unwanted vintage books and have created a series of photo frames — like the one above for my brother, a photo of us on my first week on earth — personalized for each of them. I hope all of our readers spend this holiday season appreciating the great people in their lives and I wish for all of us a great green new year.
Moe Beitiks, Contributing Writer:
This year I went from the steamy heat of Cancun to the chilly valley of Yosemite for the holidays. It’s a bit surreal to go from a tropical paradise and a climate change conference to a place where there should be snow, but isn’t. A storm passed through Yosemite this month, leaving us with days on end of torrential rain. There was at least one day of perfect, soft, powdery snow, but the next day it was melting off the trees in torrents. This is my second year out here, and it never fails to impress upon me the grandness and preciousness of nature. Oh, and all the valley shuttles are diesel hybrids. Which is pretty nice.