I’m still on my anti-consumerism kick, but you can call me Scrooge if you like. It won’t hurt my feelings.
As you may know, I’ve pledged to not buy anything during the holiday season with a few exceptions.
What about home made gifts?
HA! I’ve gone down that path before.
I used to make handmade gifts and I found that they ended up costing as much as purchased gifts and had an even greater cost: my time.
I’ve made ceramics for people (which I hope were appreciated), home made cards (which turned out horribly) and one year I bought $150 worth of yarn to make hand crocheted scarves. I ended up giving only one away, but I’ve seen her wear it!
Spanky* and her husband make really thoughtful gifts for Christmas. One year they individually crafted animated flip books for all their friends.
They always give out platters of cookies and five years ago they made bean soup kits packaged in Mason jars decorated with fabric and ribbons.
(*I got stuck coming up with a nickname for this friend so I used an on-line generator and answered a VERY LONG questionnaire and it spit out Spanky.)
I’ve known Spanky for over ten years and I can only remember two gifts, which means I am guilty of neglecting her efforts.
This year she and her husband are going to their friends’ houses and doing push-ups because that’s what holiday giving has turned into: a tremendous expenditure of energy that goes largely unappreciated.
At least with the pushups they will get in some exercise. I like it!
I stumbled upon this website when looking for an infographic to illustrate my point about homemade gifts.
I perused the blog and was impressed by the lovely gifts this person made.
Now not all people are built like me. Some people love giving presents at Christmas.
I love giving presents, but I’m more of the kind of person who will see the perfect gift and give it right then and there rather than waiting for a holiday.
But there are some who feel like Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without an exchange of gifts. For people like that, this website has some great ideas.
But I have to ask, if you are broke (this person said, “And when I say “broke”, I mean looking-under-cushions-for-change-to-buy-gas broke.”) why are you giving gifts?
Five dollars isn’t much to spend on a thrift store quilt that is then hand sewn into stockings, but it’s still money that you don’t have.
Is that the best way to care for your personal finances? Is this rational?
Again, some people love holiday gift giving, but why? Why not spend time with family and friends rather than laboring over gifts? Why not help someone with a cumbersome project instead?
I’m just saying you can give of yourself in a meaningful way without having to exchange anything.
But what about the children?
What about them? Why perpetuate the madness, guilt, greed and financial ruin?
They will remember being loved. They might remember Christmases with few gifts, but it will be overshadowed by meaningful family traditions and true togetherness. At least I hope so.
Right now I’m debating whether to do holiday cards this year. I enjoy the process of distilling the year into a few pictures and words. Likewise, I like getting them from friends.
But between the $50 for the cards and the $46 in postage and the several hours it takes to make the cards, address, stuff and stamp them, I’m not sure it’s worth it.
What do you think? Should I make cards or should I just email them?
Okay, enough of that. Time to cut the crap.
I put a ton of stuff that I’ve been purging onto Freecycle today and have people coming throughout the day to pick things up. Feels so good.
My old accounting system for keeping track of monthly expenses. It was primitive yet effective. I like having a bookkeeper instead. RECYCLE.
I loved this old backpack. I purchased it years ago at a local artist co-op but I haven’t used it in a very long time. The antler tog needs to be reattached but otherwise it’s serviceable. I’ll DONATE it.