FRESH VIEWS
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FRESH VIEWS MINI E-ZINE

FRESH VIEWS - January, 2001
Published monthly by Sharon Eakes, Hope Unlimited, LLC FOCUS - MORE JOY; LESS STUFF - Reflections on the Holidays
Discipline: Shared Vision

THOUGHTS
The giving and receiving part of the holidays has run amok. The pressure to get all the right people all the right presents wears us out and puts us in debt. Holiday shoppers look stressed and grumpy. Children often receive so much they are overwhelmed. Then they get depressed. The promise of what new acquisitions will do for us is never fulfilled.
So I invite you to join me in creating a new vision of holiday gift giving...one that lets family and friends know we're thinking of them, but plays to the tune of More Joy, Less Stuff.

EXAMPLES

The Center for a New American Dream, a member-based, non-profit organization dedicated to raising public awareness of the hidden costs of excessive consumption, offers these suggestions:

GIFTS OF TIME, such as
* Special activities with your significant other - a candlelight dinner, massage, or outdoor activity
* A monthly lunch date with an elderly relative or friend
* Offering a particular talent such as photography, gardening, financial planning or hairstyling

HOMEMADE GIFTS, such as
* Recorded interviews of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles on audio tape; you can ask them to discuss their memories of the person you plan to give the tape to, or your family's history
* Make a rope swing, painted wooden blocks or sandbox for a child
* Frame one of your best photographs

GIFTS OF EXPERIENCE, such as
* Signing the recipient up for lessons in a sport, a language, or a musical instrument
* Offering to teach her a skill you possess, such as computer skills, swing dance, building furniture, or doing the butterfly stroke

GIFTS OF CHARITY (see www.altgifts.org)
* Donate to a cause in the name of a friend or family member
* Sponsor a child refugee, support a homeless shelter, protect an acre of rainforest

COACHING TIP

Start now. Visit The Center for a New American Dream website (www.newdream.org) and take the quiz. Have conversations with friends and family (including children) about these issues. Start planning some alternative gifts for next year. They also work for Valentine's Day and birthdays and they're fun!

INVITATION
Please join me in a conversation to share our thoughts on the new vision: More Joy; Less Stuff, Thursday, February 1, at 8:00 p.m. EST (7 CST, 6 MST, 5 PST). Well meet on a telebridge. Nothing to it; just dial (702) 558-4398.
Reach me: 1-888-769-3494 or e-mail sharon@hopellc.com

Each month FRESH VIEWS focuses on a single topic, relates it to one of the five disciplines of a learning community, and offers a coaching tip and a follow-up telegathering. Please forward it to friends and colleagues. My purpose in writing FRESH VIEWS is to nurture, prod and encourage readers to think and talk about these topics with their families, friends and colleagues. Mine is only one view. Multiple conversations may deliver us to insights only hinted at here. Such a process sustains the vitality of learning relationships, learning families, learning organizations and learning communities.


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