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Saying No, No, No to the Ho-Ho-Ho

The New York Times - It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas. So what was a good, compassionate, environmentally conscious guy like Dan Nainan to do?

The tree was the first problem. “You cut down a tree and you’re going to throw it out in three weeks,” he said. “If you get a plastic tree, you’re wasting petroleum.”

Then there was the whole matter of buying gifts. “I think it’s great that people are going out and buying things and helping the economy,” he said. But when a Wal-Mart employee can be trampled to death in a manic dash for holiday bargains, as happened last year, “that kind of crystallized everything for me.”

The answer: Skip it. The whole holiday. No tree. No stockings, carols or any of the “whole nine yards” of trappings and traditions that Mr. Nainan said his family has always laid on.

“Instead of buying stuff for people who don’t need it and will probably return it anyway, I’m going to take all the money that I would have spent on presents, find some needy people — not a charity — and give the money directly to them,” said Mr. Nainan, 28 years old and single, who, belying his earnestness and world-saving inclinations, is a professional comedian. He planned to spend Christmas Day working on his Web site, trolling Facebook and taking an elderly woman who lives in his Manhattan apartment building out for dinner. Read more.

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