Dear Readers (who exist in my head, if nowhere else!),
You may remember last years blog, it’s relevant every year, when I get to philosophising and thinking as the nights draw in. Please go look, if you haven’t already.
I think for many, the ‘season of goodwill to all’ can be characterised by one word: anxiety.
Am I good enough?
Have I bought enough to prove how much I love everyone?
Will they like it?
Should I buy more?
Have I wrapped it nicely enough?
Have I spent my money fairly?
Did I spend more on one child/parent/aunt/cousin/friend?
Who have I forgotten?
And again, going back to last years post, there’s really no need. I can’t say that enough.
I found a picture online last night, which got me thinking. It corrected a lot of the sentiments we have this time of year and I’m going to write it up here so that you can see it more clearly, because it really is important:
Give presents Be present
Wrap gifts Wrap someone in a hug
Send gifts Send Love
Shop for Food Donate Food
See the lights Be the light
Coincidentally, I’ve become involved in MINDs Crafternoon initiative, and I’ve hosted one in my office. This gives lots of great, low cost, ideas for things you can do in preparation from Christmas. At the risk of doing myself out of a bargain, PoundLand has some fabulous craft supplies, including origami paper, so well worth a visit!
You might want to think about going entirely homemade for Christmas, but many of us are time poor, so what else can you do?
Buy second-hand or collect free – charity shops are still a great source of bargains, you often can’t tell that they are preloved! My daughters call our local Age Concern store ‘the Toy Shop’ thanks to the quality of the toys! Facebook is also a great source and often there are local groups, giving away or selling off cheap old, unloved toys.
Make – it’s not too late to dust off those needles/hooks and get making something practical and unique for a loved one. Scarves, gloves and hats are all super useful, or you could make something frivolous and fun instead!
Of course, if you have kids, it’s easy to get them in on the act too. Mint fondants and chocolate truffles are easy enough for little hands to make, and box up, so they can give their own gifts too. Or what about salt dough decorations?
Or you could frame a favourite photo, or piece of your child’s artwork to give instead – grandparents and aunts/uncles seem to actually like it, so take advantage 😉
If you do buy, and let’s face it, most of do these days, consider local or small enterprises as well as the big chains. It’s a bit of a political point, but consider this:
I will usually spend £10-20 in and around the craft fair just from other traders. The rest of my money will usually be reinvested to buy more stock (in my case fabrics and yarn) from local and small sellers, who then employ local people to work at their factory/shop, who then have more money to spend at the craft fair……
The point is, if you know who it is you are buying from, the money you spend will stay more local, who DID that money you spent in big supermarket X go to? It’s almost like giving to local charity, or the end of It’s a Wonderful Life, where Jimmy Stewart explains that he doesn’t have the money, because it’s in ‘your house, and your house, and your house….’ AND, if that’s not enough, what are the chances Auntie Mabel bought your cousin/aunt/grandma the same thing? Exactly!
Merry Christmas Everyone!