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Poetry, Prose and Parable.

Communicate to Connect.

Communication involves much more than words; it involves the entire body. The stance of the body, body language, gestures, tone, pitch, volume, eye contact and content are all elements of communication. Words are merely the tools one employs to do the work, however they are very powerful tools. I liken them to a power tool such as a power saw or drill. These tools need to be handled with care and are not to be flung around carelessly because we know they are dangerous and can cause much harm if not used with caution. Words too, flung around carelessly, can cause irreparable damage.

Imagine how irritating a power tool would be if it continued on and on long after its job had been done. It’s the same with words; unnecessary repetition, sometimes called nagging, is unproductive.

Deep Love Quotes and Sayings | The Dark Secrets
Image : The Dark Secrets.

Five levels of communication have been identified.

Level #1: The Cliche Level. At this level we say something like, “How are you?” This level of communication does not wait for a response, nor does it expect one. If there is a response it’s usually something like, ” Yeah, good.” Even if you are feeling anything but good. Both parties realise that at this level there is no real invitation to communicate.

Level #2: We report facts. At this level we report facts to one another. We talk about the weather, sport, the news, the government, other people, although not always with the facts; this is known as gossip! As long as we don’t get close to exposing ourselves, or how we might feel about anything we can talk for quite a while at this level.

Level #3: We report the facts and mention how we feel about them. At this level we are starting to get warm! We can help facilitate the move from level 2 to level 3 by asking the speaker, “How do you feel about……..?” This question indicates that we are listening and have an interest in the person. Often people are led into understanding themselves better or finding a solution to a problem when they are encouraged to articulate their feelings.

Level #4: We begin to reveal ourselves. We talk about ideas rather than other people. We discuss our likes and dislikes, our plans, our goals and dreams.

Level #5: We are transparent to the other person; our mask is off! We reveal our true selves, we admit our deepest fears and confess our faults. We ask to be accepted and loved for nothing more and nothing less than who we truly are. We connect heart and soul.

It is a sad fact that many people, even those in close relationships, never get past the third level of communication. Communication demands much than words. It requires time, the mouth, eyes, body, mind, soul and heart. But mostly it requires the courage to say, “This is who I am and when I speak with you I will be honest enough to reveal some of my precious self to you.”

This is communication to connect.

The Songs We Will Sing.

Free Image: Pixabay.com

#4 Baker Street- Gerry Rafferty 1978

The magical thing about music is that it literally has the power to turn back time and transport one to a different time and place, complete with the memories and emotions of that time. Not only does music heal the soul, it is a reminder that the soul transcends space and time and that it is indeed forever young. And believe me, this is a wonderful thing, as the decades keep adding up and the physical body ages, to be taken back to a time of youth, vitality and even innocence is not something to be mocked.

And this is exactly what Baker Street does for me. I simply have to hear those opening bars of clarion saxophone and I am sashaying down the corridor of the dental clinic where I worked, a carefree and young twenty something year old. At this stage of life I had survived my first major heart break, grieved the passing of my mother and collected a few other bumps and bruises along the way; but was truly in one of the happiest times of my life.

I have been gainfully employed in a number of different roles in my just short of 50years in the workforce but of the two roles that stand out as being particularly wonderful; my time at the dental clinic was the first. This was a job I practically fell into; I am still not quite sure how everything aligned but just before Christmas, there was a phone call saying, come in, collect your uniforms, you start on January 6th.

The boss was fantastic, the work environment enjoyable, the scope of work broad and interesting and lifelong friendships were forged. It is true to say that those years were pivotal and literally changed the trajectory of my life but that’s a story for another day.

Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street (Official Video) – YouTube

I hope you enjoy Baker Street; it’s a song about a yearning for a better, happier more settled life where one can forget about everything. It’s a combination of meaningful lyrics, skillful musicians and outstanding sax and guitar sections.

The Songs We Will Sing.

#3 There’s No Formula for Happiness / Open up your Heart -1972

Free Image: Pixabay.com

Graham Wayne Thomas, better known a G Wayne Thomas was born in New Zealand but moved to Australia in 1968. Again there is much which can be read about Thomas and his successful career in music and creative arts on the www. So it is not my intention to repeat his life story. I mention G Wayne Thomas for his 1972 hit There’s no Formula for Happiness because it is another of those songs with lyrics that are poetic, profound and timeless. These lyrics have become more meaningful to me as life has progressed and I share them with you to ponder over like a piece of precious poetry which carries a message of sage advice.

There’s No Formula for Happiness -words and music by G Wayne Thomas

There’s no formula for happiness, that’s guaranteed to work
It all depends on how you treat your friends
And how much you’ve been hurt
But it’s a start, when you open up your heart
And try not to hide, what you feel inside
Just open up your heart
There’s no dreamer who’s ever dreamed, and seen it all come true
Takes a lot of time and breaks a lot of hearts, to see an idea through
And love’s just a simple word, it’s truth is eas’ly lost
And sorry’s said so easily, nobody counts the cost
But it’s a start, when you open up your heart
Give your love to others, they become your brother
You open up your heart, come on, make a start
Try not to hide, what you feel inside
Just open up your heart
But it’s a start, you open up your heart
Give your love to others, they become your brother
You open up your heart, come on, make a start
Try not to hide, what you feel inside
Just open up your heart
There’s no formula for happiness that’s guaranteed to work
And no lover’s ever been in love, and not been hurt
No dreamer’s ever dreamed, and seen it all come true
In the end you find the things that count, a look to me and you
But it’s a start, you open up your heart
Give your love to others, they become your brother
You open up your heart, come on, make a start
Try not to hide, what you feel inside
Just open up your heart, look for another love
Try not to hide, what you feel inside (fade)https://ac4626886f9e521e9f27fe9050092bf6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

There is such truth in the above lyrics because in fact there is no formula for happiness; it is one of those elusive qualities that the more folks search for it, the more it seems to be just out of reach. But a basic requirement for happiness is an open heart and the sheer courage to show, speak and share love.

Happiness is like a butterfly | Butterfly quotes, Henry david thoreau  quotes, Things to come
Pintrest.

Open Up Your Heart by G Wayne Thomas – Picking Version – standard speed – Chords, Lyrics, & TAB – YouTubeT

Thank you, G Wayne Thomas. An absolute gem.

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The Songs We Will Sing.

FreeImage: Pixabay.com

I would have liked to have met Joe South, the American song writer and singer. Joe’s song writing was poetic, lyrical, wise, grounded, real and lasting. His lyrics carry a message and his style of entertainment, although not flashy nor flamboyant, was totally engaging because of his commitment to his message. He was a words man; and I like his words!

Some of his songs were Don’t it make you want to go Home; Walk a Mile in my Shoes; Rose Garden; Children; Birds of a Feather and These are not my People. There are many others and a quick Google search will show just how many other artists have covered his songs. Elvis sang South’s Walk a Mile in my Shoes which is as absolutely relevant today as it was in 1968 when written.

These lyrics remind us that what we see around us is a reflection of what we choose to see and believe and that our bias’ can so easily blind us to a real truth. It’s a reminder that compassion before criticism, experience before ego and understanding before accusation just might heal some of the divisions we see all to commonly in our world today.

But the real reason I am writing about Joe South is for his masterpiece Games People Play for which he won a Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1970. To make a statement about just how powerful this song is, wikipedia makes the claim that it has been covered by 39 artists; Hank Williams Jnr, Bill Hayley and the Comets, Jerry Lee Lewis, Petula Clark, Dionne Warwick and Conway Twitty to list just a few.

SOUTH,JOE - Games People Play / Joe South (two original albums) -  Amazon.com Music
For sale on Amazon.

The games people play now every night and every day now never meanin’ what they say now never sayin’ what they mean. While they wile away the hours in their ivory towers ’til they’re covered up with flowers in the back of a black limousine.

This song is a call to integrity, truth, purpose, reality and a commitment to do something of value with our lives because at some stage we will all be covered up with flowers in the back of a black limousine.

Joe South Games People Play 1969 – YouTube

Joe South: February 28, 1940 – September 5, 2012


The Songs We Will Sing.

#1 You were Always on my Mind.– Elvis Presley 1972-3

FreeImage: Pixabay.com

On January 8th, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, twin boys were born. One died at childbirth but the other went on to change forever the type of music that we listen to and the songs that we sing.

Elvis Presley was a multi talented performer; his dark, smoldering, sensual good looks, his charisma and stage presence combined with his singing range of two and a half octaves and a clearly executed voice that just melted hearts, was a recipe for a type of success never before known in the music industry. Apart from the movies in which he starred Elvis, could perform across genres of Rhythm and Blues; Country, Rockabilly, Gospel, Ballads and Rock and Roll; thus earning the title King of Rock and Roll.

As is often the case, people who are gifted beyond measure live difficult lives of loneliness and torment of soul which can make their gift more of a burden than a blessing. Elvis’ meteoric rise from simple, church going, country boy to riches and golden fame was not without its heartbreak. Although still performing, he was also being cruelly manipulated by fame, wealth, managers, drugs and indeed rock and roll.

Elvis Presley Wallpapers - Top Free Elvis Presley Backgrounds -  WallpaperAccess
Free Image: ElvisPresleyWallpaper.

Like many of my vintage, I can remember where I was and what I was doing when the news broke that Elvis had died at the age of 42 on 16th August 1977. Many folks refused to believe that Elvis had died, simply wanting to hang on to the fairytale; it was all over too soon and too fast and folks felt they just had not yet had enough of Elvis for him to leave the building as it were.

Elvis recorded between 600 and 700 songs but he was not a song writer. Many of his songs were covers, many others were written for him and he had co writer status for others; but sing Elvis could and he did! There is much written about Elvis so it is not my intention to say more; I just want to point you towards my favourite Elvis song, You were Always on my Mind.

Elvis Presley – Always On My Mind (Official Audio) – YouTube

What a beautiful, hauntingly sad song! And what a message! I wonder how many marriages and relationships have failed, because people forget to tell each other that they are loved, that they are valued, that we are so thankful to have them in our lives and that they are always close to our hearts and minds. We actually need to say the words for even in the best of relationships, mind readers are scarce!

So go on! Say it! Blessings.

The Songs We Will Sing.

Free Image:Pixabay.com

Music and its power to heal plays a foundational and basic part of being human. There is a belief that the whole of the universe is founded on music. The word Universe literally means One Song and when we consider the perfect harmony, balance, rhythm and timing in which the whole universe dances, it is not difficult to imagine the Master Conductor bringing it all together in celestial symphony.

To sing, regardless of whether we are good at it or not, is highly therapeutic.  John Koopman (1999) in his book, A brief History of Singing, states that singing is so basic to man that its origins are long lost in antiquity; it is believed that singing predates the spoken word. When we sing we easily commit information to memory and we know that singing lullabies and nursery rhymes to babies and small children plays an important role in early childhood development.

When we sing, we stimulate the vagus nerve and the vagus nerve is really important! There is a load of information about the vagus nerve on the www and I recommend some reading on the topic. My very layman’s take home point from my reading is to just start singing in the shower!

It’s easy to sing when we are happy but it is even more important to put on some music and hum or sing along even when we are not feeling so flash. Music, and our voices, have been given to us as a gift for our wellbeing; there is a song for every emotion and every occasion. Let the singing begin!

The Songs We Will Sing.

Music, Voice, Soul, Passion, To Sing, Singing, Grades
Free Image: Pixabay.com

I have been writing my blog; wayleadsontoway.life for a few years now. We have covered a number of different topics. By now you probably know that I love God, I love my hubby, my adult offspring, their chosen life partners and our grandies; I love Family. I love travelling, I love being grounded and working in the earth, I love good literature and poetry, I love my hands for their ability to make, create and show love and my legs for their ability to carry me through each day. I believe in Faith, Love and Hope, I believe in walking lightly on the Earth, I believe in being kind and listening. I believe in life long learning.

To accommodate these interests most of my blogs have been written with a theme in mind. We have discussed Lessons for Living; Oh, The People You Will Meet; The Books you will Read; The Places You Will Go; The Twelve Gifts of Christmas; Pearls of Wisdom; The Shift to Thrift; Poetry, Prose and Parable; I Love a Sunburnt Country; Blessing People and Planet and interspersed throughout all of this some random topical writings on just about anything that is happening at the time and aligns with my loves and makes for purposeful living. You can find all of these on my WordPress blog site@ https://wordpress.com/post/wayleadsontoway.life/2920 or the http:www.wayleadsontoway.life webpage.

So here we are in 2022. And we are going to begin a new series of blogs titled The Songs You Will Sing because music and song is another of my loves. Hubby and I met well and truly after the flush of youth had passed; we are extremely different because we have had different life experiences and we hold differing points of view on almost everything! But it works; we have a very loving and highly respectful relationship. Additional to the embrace of love which includes all our family, we share two loves which anchor and bind us; they are our common Faith in a risen Christ and our love for the songs and music which both take us back to our common youth and are a part of our present shared life.

Lots more to talk about; I hope you will join me in The Songs we will Sing and along the way find your own song.

Blessing People and Planet.

wp-1640816586431
An excellent read; one of my Christmas presents; Thank you!

Well, Santa has come and gone; the presents have been given, the food has been eaten, the decorations are packed away, it is all over for another year and life goes on. How did you go with reducing the waste, taking less of everything and giving back more? I do hope there were successes in these areas and I hope you realised that they are actually not difficult to do and that these three principles can be adopted and implemented at every and any time of the year.

One of my gifts was the book pictured above. Future-Steading by Jade Miles. It is a book for anyone and everyone who has a desire to invest in the future of our planet and who understands they have a responsibility to leave a legacy for future generations. And the simple fact is that we can all do something. The post war era of raping, taking, wasting and the idea that we can continue to go bigger and bigger is simply not sustainable. I applaud anyone who is making intentional, consistent and purposeful changes in their lives that bless both people and planet; people who live like tomorrow matters! I hope that is you!

This is my last blog for 2021. It is almost time to welcome in 2022. In the New Year I will begin another series of blogs; rattling on again about things that are close to my heart.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and many blessing to you and your precious ones as God continues to bless us with the opportunities and challenges of each new day.

Free Happy New Year 2022 Vectors, 23,000+ Images in AI, EPS format
Image:Freepic.com

Blessing People and Planet.

How We're Giving Back to Support Biodiversity and Endangered Species — Our  Planet Soap
Image: ourplanetsoap.com

#3 Give Back More.

So for we have discussed the first two principles of celebrating a Christmas which blesses both people and planet. Cutting the waste and taking less of everything are a good start but since the things we do in life should have purpose and reason to them, we now come to the third principle; the reason to reduce waste and take less is so that we can Give Back More! Give back more to both people and planet. Since giving is at the very heart of Christmas and giving makes us all feel a little happier let us look at some ways we can give back. When we give back to the planet we also give back to people; so some A-Z ideas about how to give back. This Christmas, let’s try to give back a little more than we take.

A = Act Local There is a saying, Think Global but Act Local. Now is the time to support local business, to buy local produce and to build local community. There is no need to turn your life upside down, there is no need to make a lot of noise, protest or break the law but to ACT is required and it is required now! Implement intentional, sustainable, considered and consistent changes in the way you approach your lifestyle and spending habits which support local people and business rather than faceless, multi national companies.

B= Bees The Planet needs bees; without them we will starve and bees are under significant threat. Be a friend to bees by planting some flowers; they love purple/ blue and bright yellow/orange colours. So think lavender, statice and nasturtiums. Provide shallow bowls of water with large smooth pebbles in the bottom so bees can get a drink on hot days, put a bee hive in the back yard; native bees are stingless, or build a bee house. And make some beeswax wraps to replace single use plastics. Saving the Planet one beeswax wrap at a time!

C= Compost The earth needs back the nutrients from the organic matter it has produced; to throw compost suitable matter in the garbage is poor stewardship. Compost bins, worm farms, bokashi buckets; there are a number of alternatives for composting. Choose one that suits your lifestyle and get composting.

D= Deforestation The planet is losing forests at an alarming rate; the destruction of forest areas affects wildlife, ecosystems, weather patterns, and even the climate. Forests store carbon, they have a cooling effect and are a very necessary part of the ecosystem. Be mindful of how many trees have lost their life for you to have your lifestyle. Be a tree planter.

E = Energy Reduce the demand where ever possible. Use sun and wind power to dry washing, turn off lights, invest in solar panels, walk or cycle, take public transport; there are lots of ways to reduce your demand on energy.

F = Fast Fashion Fast fashion; reject it. Fast fashion is the second biggest polluter in the world, second only to oil. It uses huge amounts of water in production, it exploits workers in poorer countries and in Australia, we send 85% of the textiles we buy to land fill every year. The link to the article says it better than I could but all I know is it is time to step off the fast fashion tread mill. That $5 Tshirt is costing the planet far more than you or I can afford. Fast fashion quick to cause environmental havoc – Sustainability – University of Queensland (uq.edu.au)

G= Give, Give, Give It is the season for giving. Do it liberally and with intent. Do it widely but cost effectively. Simply sharing with others is a gift. Do not stop at giving to only those you know or those who really don’t need anything. Give to the poor and needy, the sick and lonely, the frazzled and frustrated, the down and out. More about this under S

H= Homemade Love is in the hands! Home made means made with love. Do not underestimate the value of a homemade gift both to the giver and the receiver.

I = Initiative and Intuition We all have some and it can be used to support both people and the planet. Spend some time in quiet contemplation and listen for the creative ideas which will arrive and guide you into how you can make your difference.

J= Join Join the growing throng of people who are finding new ways or returning to old ways which support sustainability.

K = Knowledge Increase knowledge; do some reading or watch programs like Gardening Australia. Be aware of how much your lifestyle is costing the planet. Find like minded people and support each other to create a more sustainable future.

L = Landfill Reducing landfill is Love, pure and simple! How much you throw away starts with how much you buy. Adopt the habit of being a selective buyer; buy what is needed and use it, if possible then find a way to recycle or repurpose/ reuse. Send as little as possible to land fill.

M= Meat Eat less. Meat is wonderful but the production of meat, especially beef, has quite a heavy environmental footprint. I am not vegetarian nor vegan but I believe in regular vegetarian meals. Meat free Mondays?

N= Neighbours Do you know yours? Now is the time to embrace them and develop a bit of neighbourhood spirit. Good neighbours are worth their weight in gold. Be sure to be one.

O=Organic Support nature and the natural; avoid chemicals, choose natural fibers, opt for as little man made interference in your lifestyle as practical.

P = Purchase Power The world turns on supply and demand so if you want to change the world, change how you spend your money; if we reduce the demand on some things, of necessity the supply chain will have to adapt. Think no more plastic, no more cheap fashion, no more imported food when our own farmers can supply us … and the list goes on. With every $ we spend we vote for the type of world we want to live in. It really is powerful and it is power we hold.

Q= Quirky It’s OK to be a little bit quirky. The world needs people who think a little differently.

R = Reduce, Recycle, Reuse Buy good quality second hand items. Not only will your bank balance be thankful but so will the planet. When you buy second hand the energy to produce that item has already been released and you are not contributing to current pollution.

S= Strangers In this giving season it is easy to give to the people we know; the people who already have enough and the people we feel pretty confident will give us something back. But real giving is to give to those we don’t know and to those who have no way of giving anything back. This is the real blessing of giving and there are so many people and places to whom we can give. Just find one and GIVE.

T= Trees Nothing says Christmas like the beautifully decorated Christmas Tree; they come in all shapes and sizes; do a quick Google search to read about the symbolism of the Christmas Tree. Now real trees, the ones that grow in the ground, are the lungs of the planet; they store carbon dioxide which helps to clean the air; plant one or more. I am pretty sure the planet cannot be over treed.

U =Urban Gardening I love the idea of urban gardening, particularly group urban gardening. Rooftop, container, vertical, balcony, community. There is an option for anyone. Enjoy!

V= Vegetables on the Verge If you have a wide footpath / verge put it to good use. Lots of terrific ideas on Google. Grow some herbs and veges. Share with the neighbours.

W= Waste not; Want not. This old saying is as true today as ever. Here’s another one; Wilful Waste makes Woeful Want. I have lived by these mantras for decades. I have been ridiculed for this stance; particularly by folks who are addicted to consumerism and are highly wasteful. But I can tell you something; being wasteful is not intelligent, it is not character building and from what I can see, does not make anyone any happier. I will get down from my soap box!

X = Xmas The X stands in for Christ for whom this season is named and the mass is simply a celebration of the Christ. Religious and historical accounts support that Christ was really born, however, it is highly unlikely that it was in December or on the 25th of that month. You can do lots of reading around that if interested. The Christ, indeed, is worthy of our honour and our celebration of the Joy and Hope He brought to the World which we express through our gift giving.

Y = You You actually have more power to change the world than you think. Folks sit around and wring their hands, they talk gloom and doom, they rob young people of their hope in a future, they demand governments make changes to placate their fears; but actually you have the power to reduce waste, you have the power to take less, you have the power to step off the merry go round of consumerism, you have the power to spend your $s in ways which support ethics, environment and sustainable enterprise.

Z= Zero Waste It’s a lofty ideal! But if it is an ideal we hold in our hearts and minds it is an ideal we will move closer towards. Yesterday our old neighbours came to visit us and we shared lunch. It was a delight to see them. D brought a gift of cookies, they were simply boxed and unwrapped because she had read my post about reducing waste at Christmas. And people, that’s what we all need to do; reduce the waste, take less of everything and give back more.

art,poster,typography-26314df7f8e67c0c41ef038a6d8d2d39_h | Earth day  quotes, Earth day, Happy earth
Image found on Pintrest

How is this for a Christmas Tree?

Wishing you a Merry Christmas which blesses both People and Planet.

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Blessing People and Planet.

#3 Take Less of Everything.

King Midas wanted to have more, so he asked that everything he touched be turned to gold. This worked OK for a while but then he realised that he could not eat or drink because his touch made the item turn to gold and when he hugged his much loved daughter and she turned to lifeless gold, he understood that what he thought would be a blessing had actually turned into a curse.

King Midas and the Golden Touch on Behance
Image: King Midas and The Golden Touch found on Behance.

This is a bit like life, isn’t it? So often the things we think are going to bless us, when we take too much actually turn from blessing to curse. There is a fine line between blessing and curse and it is very easy to step over that line. We take too much food and are overweight and have complicated health issues, we take too much alcohol and say and do hurtful things we would never do if sober, we take too much sugar and end up anything but sweet, we spend too much money and suffer crippling financial burden, we demand bigger and better homes, so clear land; destroying nature and the homes of necessary wildlife, we want more gadgets and mod cons so demand a relentless supply of energy. We are conditioned to be takers.

Clean Air Act | National Wildlife Federation
Image:National Wildlife FederationClean Air Act | National Wildlife Federation

We have all to varying degrees bought into the lies; bigger is better, that we need more and more stuff to give life meaning and that the more we can take and prove by the evidence of our lifestyle, the more successful we are. Commercialism and advertising have totally brainwashed us to believe more, more, more will make us happy, important, valuable. What a con!

Stuff; Just too much Stuff: image :www.theifod.com

Animals in the wild do not take any more than what they need. They kill to survive, they share with their pack and there is a system in nature where everything is used and has a purpose. Likewise Australian aboriginal people lived in harmony with the land and nature for many, many, moons through taking what they needed, sharing with their tribe and protecting the eco system. It is only sophisticated? man who takes, rapes, exploits, wastes, hoards and destroys.

The second principle of a Christmas which blesses both people and planet is to be mindful that what is meant to be a blessing can so easily turn to be a curse. Just take less of everything, take what is needed, be prepared to share, reduce waste, lighten your carbon footprint. The planet and your bank balance will thank you.

The resources and provisions of the planet are provided by the Creator to be a blessing; it is we who take too much and turn them into a curse.

Blessings.

Blessing People and Planet.

#2 Cut the Waste; decorations, wrappings, single use plastics and disposables.

There is no doubt that we live in a throw away world. All sorts of things are thrown away, sadly sometimes even people! But today I want to talk about the waste of paper, cardboard, decorations, disposables and single use items, which guess what?? All end up in land fill.

There is no doubt that most of the paper products we use have been made from recycled paper, and that is a good thing but it will not hurt to be mindful of our waste and make an effort to reduce. In our minds we connect Christmas with a time of abundance and extravagance; there is so much happening that we often cut corners and just throw out stuff that at other times we would take the time to recycle or reuse.

Decorations; there is no need to buy new shiny, glitzy decorations each year; pack them up and use them again and again. Part of my Christmas joy is the decorating of tree and home and for me it is always a walk down memory lane as I unpack and put out my Christmas treasures, which all tell a story of Christmas’ past. Gifts from work colleagues and Secret Santas from folks I no longer see and in some cases have lost touch with, but they are remembered and blessed as I unpack the Nativity Scene or that special angel, wreath, candle, stars, trees and Santa. Some of my decorations have been bought on overseas trips, some were gifted, some came from op shops but they all come with a story, a history, a memory, a value; and for me this has so much more joy than going to the nearest shop and buying that big bag of tinsel and baubles and putting it all in the bin after Christmas Day. So this is my suggestion, build your own story and treasury of Christmas joy; there is something really grounding and comforting as each year it is told; just like the story of Christmas itself!

We toss 540K tonnes of wrapping paper after the holidays — Here's how to  give without the garbage - National | Globalnews.ca
Picture this: 540,000 tonnes of wrapping paper — the equivalent of the weight of 100,000 elephants or 4.5 CN Towers — ends up in landfills following the holidays, according to a 2017 study by environmental group Zero Waste Canada: https://globalnews.ca

Wrappings, I know, paper is cheap. But don’t you think the 150,000 klms used in Australia alone is a bit extreme? So, can you dispense with the wrapping altogether? Does your gift come in a nice box already? Does it just need to be presented with ribbons? Can it be slipped into an envelope? Maybe your gift is too big to wrap, just a bow will do. What about wrapping in a tea towel or Christmas fabric which can be reused? The message is clear, reduce the wrapping paper. If some things need to be wrapped, try simple brown paper or plain coloured papers like gold, silver, red which can be multipurpose and wrap other gifts through out the year. Go for a unique presentation and just look for ways to cut the waste and ways to recycle or reuse.

Furoshiki: reusable wrapping fabric. How the Japanese are helping to save the planet. . Medium Furoshiki Reusable Fabric Gift WrapHow Furoshiki Replaces Wrapping Paper—and Cuts Down on Waste (brightly.eco)

Single use plastics; how much Glad Wrap do you expect to use? Probably lots! My last purchased 30 metre roll of Glad Wrap has lasted just short of 3 years. So, how to reduce? Use lidded containers and bowls, silicone food covers which just go on and on, bees wax wraps and covers, brown paper bags and cloth napkins to wrap, store and transport food. Be mindful, just because something is cheap to buy does not mean it is good for the environment. And the same goes for all the disposable whatevers; plates, bowls, cutlery. Washing up is not such a big deal; in fact washing up together with family or friends is one of the great relationship builders; do not underestimate its importance or its ability to bless both people and planet.

12 Plastic Pollution Facts That Show Why We Need To Do More
12 Plastic Pollution Facts That Show Why We Need To Do More: https://www.globalcitizen.org/

I think we have the idea! Reduce the waste! Reduce the landfill! Reduce your burden on the planet! Not hard really. Next blog we will look at the second principle of celebrating a Christmas which blesses both people and planet # Take Less of Everything!