Resources for Personal, Communal, and Collective Action in relation to the season of Christmas.
Compiled by Tora Klassen for the Creation Care Vigil held on 1 December 2023 at Hillside Church of London.
Creation Care starts at home, and in recognizing that we need to take care of our shared home, Planet Earth. This collection of resources will deepen your own understanding of the issues facing Creation right now, with practical ideas for how you can take action during the upcoming Advent and Christmas season, and beyond. We encourage you to share these resources and actions with your friends, family, and households.
Learn about Climate Change and Creation Care
Read What is Climate Change? A Simple Introduction, a news article by BBC News.
Note the individual actions listed at the end of the article. This is great place to start!
Watch All of Life, a short film series that connects the whole Biblical story with caring for Creation. Created by A Rocha At Your Service, this frames creation care work and climate action within the lens of the Christian faith.
How Do We Celebrate Christmas While Caring for Creation?
Consider the way you, your family, and your household celebrate Christmas. What is entailed in the way you decorate your home? The food you eat during this season? The gifts you give and exchange? Every physical object has a life cycle – and to care for creation, we need to examine the life cycle of everything we take for granted during the Christmas season.
Look through World Wildlife Fund’s Top Tips for a Sustainable Christmas, which lays out simple and achievable guidelines for sustainable Gift Giving, Food, and Decorations.
Want to dig deeper? Check out How to have a Sustainable Christmas and Fight Climate Change by WRAP, a global NGO based in the UK.
* Christmas Trees and Decor *
Many Christmas decorations are made out of non-recyclable and non-composting materials. Namely: plastic. Whether you already own a plastic Christmas tree or love the look, smell, and feel of a live tree, you can do either in a manner that still cares for Creation.
Here are 8 Tips to Have a Greener Christmas, including how to select the best Christmas Tree for your home.
* Gift Giving *
If you truly think about it, chances are you already own everything you need. Truth be told, we are likely privileged to have too many possessions already. So what is gift giving at Christmas truly about? Gift giving began with the Magi, who brought kingly gifts to Baby Jesus as a gesture of honouring him. Today, however, the cultural image of a pile of gifts under the Christmas tree couldn’t be farther from the original spirit of Gift Giving. This year, consider giving gifts that are an expression of love for the person to whom you are giving the item. Consider also a gift that might honour Jesus and God’s heart for people who are poor and in need, like donating to a reputable non-profit organization or local charity in the person’s name.
Try these Top Tips for Sustainable Gift Giving put together by BBC Culture.
* Food *
What would a celebration be without food and drink? Preparing delicious foods and warming beverages is an amazing way to show our tangible love for the people in our lives. Food is life. But we are also all too familiar with after-holiday dieting, which means we likely prepared and consumed too much to begin with.
Explore recipes, menu planning guides, and other food resources at Love Food Hate Waste.
Pray for Creation: Where Faith and Action Meet
Here are a few next steps for you, your family, and your household as you embark on this journey of creation care.
Watch this short, powerful film on How to Talk to Children about Climate Change, put together by BBC Ideas.
How to Pray for Climate Change
A Prayer Guide compiled by Creation Collective, including Action Steps and further Resources
Consider picking up one of these amazing books on how Christians can care for creation. Search for an independent, local bookstore in your area to find a copy.
* L is for Lifestyle by Ruth Valerio
* Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing by Katharine Hayhoe