"Celebrations belong to people. They are not natural resources to be strip-mined each year for the sake of profit," said Gerald Iversen, of Simple Livign Works! - successor to Alternatives. Alternatives produced Treasury of Celebrations: Create Celebrations That Reflect Your Values and Don't Cost the Earth .
"Why celebrate? Celebrations are ritualized interruptions in the continuum of daily life which remind us of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going. Our need and desire to celebrate are powerful drives. Celebrations are vehicle for nurturing the human spirit.
"Treasury of Celebrations channels our desire to celebrate into activities that truly nourish the human spirit, express our solidarity with all the earth's people, and respect the environment. It helps us resist consumer pressures and celebrate in a more spiritually fulfilling, joyful way. If you are not satisfied with consumer-oriented celebrations, this big book of creative ideas is for you," Iversen said.
Treasury contains life giving ways to celebrate weddings, birthdays, Bar/Bas Mitzvahs, funerals, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, Purim, Easter, Shavuot, Remembrance/Memorial Day, Hiroshima Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, graduations, and other holidays and rites of passage.
Treasury draws material from the six Alternate Celebrations Catalogs published from 1973-87 by Alternatives and adds new ideas as well. At 288 pages, in a 6 3/4 x 9 3/4 format, published by the Northstone division of Wood Lake Books and compiled by Carolyn Pogue, Treasury of Celebrations costs $10.
Treasury of Celebrations: Create Celebrations That Reflect Your Values and Don't Cost the Earth has a unique "alternative" approach to planning celebrations, is values-based, includes anecdotes of real celebrations, and contains practical planning ideas and details for activities.The entire collection is available free of charge at SimpleLivingWorks.org >> Archives.
The Alternative Wedding Book is available in three formats - English soft cover, English packet or Spanish soft cover. Both English and Spanish are available free of charge at SimpleLivingWorks.org >> Archives.
The packet edition, first issued in 1992 and entitled Wedding Alternatives:
A Guide to Planning Out-of-the-Ordinary Celebrations, is three hole punched
for use in a binder, so that portions can be copied as needed. The Spanish
edition, issued in 1995, is entitled Nuestra Boda.
Alternatives' mission -- "equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly, and celebrate responsibly" -- is carried on by SimpleLivng Works! Started in 1973 as a protest against the commercialization of Christmas, it encourages celebrations year-round that reflect conscientious ways of living. Throughout its 38-year history, Alternatives led the movement to live more simply and faithfully. The many staff members and volunteers of Alternatives developed a wide variety of resources, organized an annual Christmas Campaign, held the Best and Worst Christmas Gift Contest, led numerous workshops, and reached countless people with the message of simple, responsible living. Alternatives emphasizes relationships and traditions over things, helping people avoid stress and debt, and promoting alternative giving - helping the truly needy instead of spending so much on ourselves.
"Let's Talk About Christmas! Day urges people to talk about what's truly meaningful and who's going to do the work, instead of going on auto-pilot after Thanksgiving," Iversen said. It includes guidance for conducting a Let's Talk About Christmas! meeting - whatever the family configuration.
SimpleLivingWorks.org >> Archives contains hundreds of free resources on living more simply for children and adults on simpler living and related topics (such as hunger, the environment, media literacy, etc.) for Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter, weddings and year-round use.
Alternatives' resources usable year-round include the video Break Forth into Joy!: Beyond a Consumer Lifestyle, which won a Gold Medal at the Houston International Film Festival! It is now available on audio cassette. "Now folks interested in simplifying their lives can listen to the powerful message in places that are not appropriate for video, such as cars," Iversen said. "This makes a wonderful gift, or something to share with friends who are struggling with stress and debt." The video version appears free of charge at YouTube.com/JubEcoMinSimple. Both versions include a study guide.
Alternatives also produced resources appropriate for reevaluation of Christmas, including Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?; packets designed for churches and groups - Reclaiming Christmas, Preparing for the Birth of Christ and Gifts of Peace; collections of Christmas stories to read aloud or alone; and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas video.
Simple Living Works! sells nothing nor solicits donations. #####
This page last updated 4 October 2013 (originally 27 February 2003)
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MISSION: Equipping people of faith to challenge consumerism, live justly and celebrate responsibly // An all volunteer educational organization.