Each year about this time, I struggle just a little.
Consumerism and advertising seem to be wearing battle armor
and are charging full force towards all of us.
Of course, this is no new song I'm singing here,
but it almost makes me want to hide.
I'm not stingy ~ I love to give,
but who wants to give something because there is a feeling of obligation
or give with the thought that it will be unappreciated and/or end up
in the trash within a month.
That said, the piles of gifts we unwrap are a little different in a couple ways:
first, they aren't piles and
second, the items themselves might not look like gifts to most folks.
We have a rule in our family~
no gift (with the exception of the kids) can cost more than $10.
Yep, that's right, not $20 or $50, but $10.
After the first year or two of books and slippers,
it began to get more fun.
It's a whole different mind set.
We shop throughout the year thus thinking of giving to loved-ones often.
I have only a gift card to purchase for my grandmother
and a specific stocking stuffer for hubby.
(Grammy is nearly 92 and doesn't need stuff. She enjoys being able to
go to the store for the few things she needs and having the card.)
We don't have to take out a loan for Christmas:)
Children no longer wish for a simple toy or sweet treat.
Expensive techno-gadgets of various sorts have replaced those things.
Children have no idea how to play marbles ~
you know, draw a big circle in the dirt.
Dirt! Heaven forbid! Get the hand sanitizer quick! (sorry)
They don't know about clearies or cats eyes or how to hold a shooter.
That makes me a little sad
as do the expectations they seem to associate with the season.
If you can at all follow me here to where I find myself and can relate,
(am I really alone here?) then here are some gift ideas for various ages.
Marbles~ and show them how to play.
Pick up Sticks~ click here for instructions to make your own
A Jar of Color~ whatever the recipient's favorite color, fill the jar with items of that color: handkerchief, gum, treats, shoe laces, screw driver (or sm. tools,) you will be surprised what you find when looking for color rather than items.
Reusable veggie and grocery bags~ lots of options here
Food~ this one is obvious, but here are a couple gifts in a jar which are nice
because they don't have to be 'dealt with' right away:
Wool~ various forms available: scarf, mittens, gloves, socks, dryer balls, hat
Not Paper~ We have several quilters in the family so those gifts are wrapped in fabric, but alternatives you might use are: handkerchiefs, dish towels, pillow case, cotton shop rags, etc. - use your imagination
And now my favorite~ an idea from the three wisemen
Gold: of course jewelry which isn't for everybody, but you can get creative and use candies in gold foil, hinges/hardware for a crafter, yellow stoneware, sports team items if gold is one of the team colors, 'dewalt' tools are yellow (gold:)
Frankincense: perfume or candles, spices - something fragrant
Myrrh: oils - either edible cooking oils or soaps/lotions etc (made with oils)
I realize these are not the original uses and intents for the items, but they do serve as a reminder of what the season is really about.
There is a message on the reader board at the bank across the street from where I work offering Christmas loans.
To me, that seems a bit (read a lot) offensive.
I hope nobody I truly care about would want me to go into debt to buy them a gift. The truth is Christmas is what we make it. We have the opportunity to celebrate a very special birthday.
The gift of love and friendship are all that we can really wish for.
Without those two things what are we?
I'll have more soon,
but for now, enjoy this Christmastime.
Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches