A question was recently posed about gifting and children…
There are some families that holiday gift for quantity. They are oblivious to the waste they produce. The gifts they give are often of no practical use. It’s all about volume and getting. The lack of ceremony had folks tearing off wrapping paper with no acknowledgement of where the gift came from. It was over in ten minutes flat. I have even heard families complain about what they didn’t get. That was never the holiday environment for me.
I have sometimes been the recipient of electronic gifts for the holiday. I parallel that to getting a new vacuum for one’s wedding anniversary. I’d personally prefer 1000 kisses than a gift of electronics!!
While growing up our family while they gifted rather mainstream, each gift opening was savored. One gift and one sentiment at a time
I tried as parent and especially during the holidays to gift practically and educationally. I also tried to hold onto the meaning of gifting.
Sometimes I made my own holiday paper, other times I made food gifts. I started years ago finding odd stocking stuffers that could be used over and over – my kids love opening their stockings and revisiting the stuffings from the past (a wooden finger puppet, mini snow globes,thumb puzzles and always the seasonal orange!) I have been reusing holiday wrapping paper forever, but would still purchase it on sale. Several years ago I decided not to buy gift tags and paper anymore. The green light bulb went on what a waste that was. This has me wrapping creatively – sometimes the Sunday comics work perfectly fine or a decorated brown paper bag.
In recent yrs with virtually no budget for the holidays I have started to frequent thrift stores. For my daughter I started a collection that would someday be for her home – glassware, lovely old linen, eclectic plates, real old silver and canisters. For example this year I found six retro highball glasses. They cost me all of $1.99. They are very cool looking. I pkged them in a cardboard beer box. The “hope chest” collection has grown and eventually will give her an awesome start once she is on her own. My son has a bicycle and always needs to repair it – he begs for $ for bike repairs and loves “food” gifts. Nuts, staple foods like beans and rice and also loved the retro dish linen I found for him. Socks and underware as much as they would roll their eyes at, are also very appreciated. These type of gifts to me are by far more meaningful than store bought ordinary.
Over Thanksgiving I gave memories to the woman who ever so graciously took care of our dog. I made her a photo calendar using pictures from while she was there
I have a ton of ideas for artful gifting or original collaging ideas and such but haven’t implemented a time frame to do all of that. For those of you that hand make everything I admire you!!
The point I guess for me is I have always tried to be reasonable about the season and gift giving for my kids. Even when they were little I applied some level of practicality to it all!