Christmas is really doing my head in this year. I have been thinking about it since October but not actually done anything, besides some in-my-head gift ideas. For some reason, this year I’m becoming fixated on the presents.
I want to give everybody the best, most perfect, amazing presents ever. I want them to grin hugely when they open them and really appreciate the time and thought I’ve put into each one. We've got a tight budget but am determined to do the best I can with it.
... And then I read a wonderful blog about appreciating what you have (at Seven Cherubs). Got a fantastically inspiring email about buying local, supporting the local economy, not clogging yours and others' homes with plastic crap you don’t need, appliances you never use and DVDs you never watch. About not contributing the wealth of rapidly industrializing countries where labour is cheap (and sometimes exploitative) and manufacturing is environmentally harmful when your local hairdresser or lawn mowing business is struggling to make a dollar. Or seeing wonderful crafty ideas on Pinterest, and thinking about how homemade is so much better than a box of Ferrero Rochers I bought at the supermarket because I didn’t know what to give.
I’m also really interested in charitable giving, however am wary of giving people the gift of a goat for Xmas (see Oxfam Unwrapped) in case they don’t “get” what the gift really is about (and don’t have actually any "THING" to keep for themselves). Seems like kind of a mean gift, if you think about it that way. I KNOW that’s not the point, but am still not completely a fan of giving charity gifts of this kind unless I know the person is a big supporter of that particular organization, or of charity generally.
At least I am blessed in that I have a circle of family and friends who really don’t place a lot of value on material possessions, or monetary worth (so different from some I know). I know my parents won’t mind what they get from us and my partner C assures me his parents won’t either. I’m going to suggest a no-presents-this-year deal with my brother and his partner, as we both are struggling with mortgages. For my friends, I’m undecided – perhaps they would like to agree to a no-gifts-year this year too?
So I’m busy in my mind trying to reconcile all this mess in my head, and yet STILL trying to think of the perfect, most amazing gifts that a) are Australian-made, b) won’t end up as expensive clutter and c) are friendly to our planet.
And don’t even get me started on Christmas cards. (There's a minefield that's possibly best navigated by me just not sending any).
So now after all my resolutions to give ethical, suitable gifts this year, the original post I was going to write today about what I want for Christmas looks pretty damn selfish. So I’m not going to post it, and be grateful for what people decide to give me on The Big Day.
Do you have a gift-giving ethos this year? What is it?