This past weekend, Do It Green! Minnesota hosted our 10 Annual Green Gifts Fair. The Green Gifts Fair is a holiday shopping event that features local, sustainable businesses and include many educational booths on lowering your environmental impacts around the holidays. Despite this emphasis on green living and sustainability, for many visitors the event is primarily a shopping destination. This year, I covered a large pillar in the middle of the fair with craft paper, and wrote the words “What are you thankful for?” on it. What people wrote indicated that despite being out shopping, they were not in a materialistic mindset.
Many people wrote that they were thankful for family and friends, often naming specific individual. Children were often mentioned specifically, and one person put down that they were thankful for learning to be more patient with their children. Others wrote that they were thankful for their pets, which of course many people consider to be part of the family.
Some people were thankful for broad concepts, including one person who simply wrote “life” on the paper. New opportunities was also offered as an idea, as were our country, good health, God, and church. Several people indicated they were thankful for food, including pizza (a sentiment that I share). Music, books, and the internet also made the list of things to be thankful for this year.
A few people clearly had the environment in mind when they participated, which is probably to be expected at the Green Gifts Fair! Fairgoers were thankful for both monarch butterflies and milkweed- the only plant on which monarchs will lay their eggs. One person was thankful for water, and another for Minnesota’s new seed law, which legalized seed sharing in our state.
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s sometimes far too easy to lose sight of what’s really important. I was heartened by the results of my little project, with so many people finding wonderful things to be thankful for this year. What about you? What are you thankful for?