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The Anti-Consumer

6 people who define the holiday season
Anne Andrews


What's her deal 

"I don't see anything inherently evil in wanting things; I just find that obtaining things can be unsatisfying. We don't really need things. If the holidays are really about reconnecting with the family and whichever supreme beings or principles we choose to affirm, we ought to at least consider giving gifts that speak to the reasons we celebrate at all."

Ideal holiday meal 

"Pumpkin pie, surreptitiously eaten from the fridge at 3 a.m. after everyone else in the house is asleep."

Perfect gift

"Knowledge. There are great nonprofits that let you give a donation in someone's name for a concrete purpose. One of my favorites is the Ilula Orphan Program, a project based in the village of Ilula in Tanzania, which lets you sponsor an orphan to attend school for a year. Through Heifer International you can buy a cow that will give a family a livelihood."

Where's the party?

"My sister and I live in separate cities, but we always wind up in the same city for the holidays. When we do, on at least one night, we find a salsa club nearby and dance like crazy!"

Feel-good activity 

"Midnight candlelight communion service. All dogma aside, I love its aura of tradition."

Holiday Guide '07 Main

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