Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vermont Christmas Wishes

I would rather hear Jingle bells from Santa's reindeer-powered sleigh than honking horns from automobiles, but since Santa only drives by once a year let his snow or mush, or icy path be clear and free of litter.

I'd rather bike and walk to local stores for groceries and takeout food as well as holiday gifts, but if flooded or iced or snow bound sidewalks deter me at least let my drive be along tree lined streets.

I would rather not have to pay taxes to eradicate urban litter. Thankfully, a score of people volunteer to pick up litter on Green Up Day and some pick up a piece every day. I ask that each of these folks may receive overflowing Christmas stockings.

I would rather most Christmas gifts be acts of kindness: a friendly visit, a helping hand, even a phone call to someone in despair or to someone who is ill. Janis Joplin once sang that we all want the same thing: Someone to listen to you, talk to you, hear you, want you, need you, hold you.

Let many of those material gifts consist of locally grown, crafted, designed, built and sold. Let them be minimally packaged and built with quality to lasts a long time before expiring and entering our landfill.

I would rather there were neither homeless nor hungry people in our community, nor lonely or depressed people in unattended need. I wish for us all to not be shy about saying a sincere “Thank You”, and “Can I help you with that?”, while extending a warm handshake or hug in season and neighborly greetings to acquaintances and strangers alike.

I would rather we could slow the clock to find more time to actively participate in local government, and keep abreast of community activities. At least let us recognize the 'power of one' to influence good behavior, shared responsibility, and to spread a 'one for all and all for one' community philosophy.

Santa, I wish for community organizations, businesses, neighborhood groups, and individuals to take up Green & Clean activism by promoting and demanding more green (trees, shrubs, flowers) along our streets and parks. In addition, I wish for a Fall Litter Harvest Day to compliment our spring Green Up Day.

Finally, Santa, I wish for South Burlington to become an urban community where the only paper on the streets is white birch bark. And, where the only clean up required on Green Up Day consists of raking leaves and preparing flowerbeds. Where litter is so rare, so unthinkable, so distasteful that even squirrels no longer leave their nut shells behind after feasting.

I would rather Christmas spirit shine from each of us all year long. I would rather the streets be Green & Clean all year long. With our help Santa, I think my wishes can come true, Merry Christmas!

December 2009