It's not just the greens who feel this emotional tug at the end of the year: A 2005 survey by the Center for a New American Dream showed that 78 percent of Americans wish the holidays were 8220less materialistic.8221 At the same time, the average American spends about $900 on presents each year, according to the National Retail Federation.Still, to some ears, the call for less excessive consumption during the holidays sounds almost un-American.

The NY Times has an article that looks at what it means to be green during the festive season. Thankfully it avoids a lot of talk about ‘green gifts' and looks at people's growing concern about consumption and how they influence their families. An extract:

Frivolity versus severity. Materialism versus sacrifice. Welcome to the 8220green8221 holidays. The holidays have always been an emotionally combustible time for families, bringing together a sometimes volatile mix of siblings, crotchety grandparents and ill-behaved children. But in recent years, a new figure has joined the celebration, to complicate the proceedings even further: the green evangelist of the family 8212 the impassioned activist bent on eradicating the wasteful materialism of the holidays.

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