Buy Nothing Day & Dark Days Update

In years past, my mom and I would go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving.  Now, we wouldn’t be one of those folks getting to the store at 5 am — just at some point during the day we went shopping.  Last year was the first year I celebrated “Buy Nothing Day.”  I had so much fun with it, I turned it into a stuff-less Christmas/Hanukkah (interfaith marriage = double holidays).  We took my husbands father and girlfriend and my folks out to a nice dinner at a great green restaurant called Flea Street Cafe and had a great time.  We got admission to a golf course for brother-in-law, etc.

This year, with the babies (mine and my sister’s) coming, we’ll have to think a little more creatively about honoring the day.

Dark Days Update

ddaybug08-09Our dark days meal of the week was one of my favorite comfort foods.  Tortellini in a white sauce with ham, mushrooms and onions.  It’s one of those meals where I really enjoy the leftovers — but sadly, there were none this time around.




The pasta was a wholewheat tortelini made by the Monterey Pasta Company.  The milk was from Straus Organic Dairy in glass containers we return for a deposit.  The Mushrooms and onion from the farmers market.  The ham, not local, but organic and pasture raised.  The chives on top from my one surviving herb plant from my window sill.  Normally these days I make my own rue, but I noticed at the back of the cabinet I had a package of white sauce — God knows how old that is.  Decided to declutter life and use it up.  Not local or organic but still satisfying to use it up. 😦



  1. Theresa said,

    November 28, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    We’ve had a similar holiday philosophy in our house for the last few years; everyone has enough “stuff,” plus, we are all so busy and don’t get to see each other so much during the year…We call it “the gift of ourselves.” We take my mother-in-law for a day at a museum or a Christmas concert, I take my mother for a spa day, with brunch, etc. etc. It makes December a really busy month, but it’s worth it (how I wish we could just get all the parents together for dinner! It’s just not possible with picky eaters, separated parents, girlfriends, etc). We still buy gifts for the little kids, but that’s about it.

  2. November 30, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    […] pregnant and still cooking, Einat’s featured meal this week was a simple dinner of tortellini in a ham, mushroom and onion white sauce. Mmmm, great minds must think alike as this is almost […]

  3. Melissa P said,

    December 1, 2008 at 9:48 am

    We started a wonderful tradition a couple years ago after reading “The Hundred Dollar Holiday” by Bill McKibben. We pick a theme each year and put together the same gift for everyone on that theme–usually around $10 each since we get supplies in bulk. Our first year was eating organic with a cookbook, our favorite organic products, and tips for buying organic. Last year we did green cleaning kits that included dish soap, laundry detergent, and dryer sheets as well as samples and coupons from Organic cleaning companies and recipes for all the things we made. This year we’re planning to do home gardening–haven’t figured out all the details yet. We put the gifts into a reusuable canvas grocery bag instead of wrapping. The one other thing we do as part of this is make a donation to some organization that represents the theme-like this year it will be to Seattle Tilth and last year it was to Washington Toxics Coalition. For our daughter we do get a few small things but they’re quality natural toys or toys from Craigs List or a local thrift shop so we’re not buying new unneccessarily. I found a tea set made from recycled milk jugs this weekend–awesome! Best of luck!

  4. Almostima said,

    December 1, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Theresa – Yeah, I agree that you have to make adjustments for the kids. Down the road, we’re going to have one gift always be an experience. Like, going to the zoo, etc. based on his interests.

    Melissa – your gifts are so thoughtful! I would love to garden some day when we have a square foot of outside space. I know there are some ideal soil mixes that one is supposed to have to grow veggies (what they are, I couldn’t tell ya). Maybe you can buy those in bulk \and then put together a kit with seeds/the right soil combo and step by step instructions — maybe even recycled containers of old pots, assuming they are not unsightly.

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