Today Is Shop Small Day
I decided this year to only give one of a kind presents for my friends and family. And the gifts need to be hand made, vintage (ala Etsy) and something useful, or at least useful in that it makes that person feel special and different. And nothing will be from a big box store; locally bought, vintage, and/or handmade will be the mantra.
We used to do a family exchange, secret-Santa type Christmas. Some how it was always messed up. Someone got forgotten, or someone got two presents. One year my mother, yeah, was forgotten and she was really irked. It was so strange. One would think after seventy plus years on the planet, she would have just shrugged it off. Perhaps it was the several glasses of wine…
Also, with extra guests showing up, or family member flaking, the exchange of gifts got somehow too complicated. One year, I made everyone a CD with a song representing each family member. I named the song as I handed out each CD to everyone at the table. My daughter hand made candy boxes.
Last few years, people made donations to a charity. That was a sweet and wonderful thing to do. But for me, I would have loved to have done both, give to a charity and spent time picking out something special for someone.
Either way, it shouldn’t be difficult. But mostly, the family needs to expect mistakes and in a truly lithe fashion, let it go. Plan for screw-ups, have an extra present, or just let it be. All the adults need to embrace the idea of the season.
I am not telling anyone that my daughters and I are going to do small, personal, sustainable gifts for everyone. We are not expecting anything back. This is our gift to the people we love (or in some cases, tolerate well).
This holiday season, just do what you can financially, emotionally, and physically do. Don’t get upset if things aren’t perfect. Don’t let others frazzle you. Treat yourself. Nap. Share what you can. If you want to take the time and find fun special presents, do it. If you want to forgo the presents, that’s fine as well. Spend wisely. Eat well and healthily. Enjoy a cocktail or a cookie. Have fun.
And shop local and small stores. Find good jams or honey at the farmers market. Get a vintage necklace. Look for old records. Make the search fun. Have a list, and get some cheap gifts bags at the party store for easy wrapping.
If you just don’t want to buy or make presents, then don’t and don’t feel bad about your choice. If someone does get you a present, accept it graciously, and vow to yourself to find something for them in the new year, if you feel the need.
And if you get someone a gift, and they don’t have one to exchange, in Lithe fashion, let it be. It actually feels good to just give. But remember, if going to another’s home for a holiday dinner, then you should bring something for the hostess, its just what’s done. Hastily picked up flowers are never frowned at. Or bakery made cake or tarts.
This season, do what you can, how you want. Just be kind, loving, giving of the heart, don’t worry if its not all “even”, that usually works itself out in other ways.
Take care, breath and go support the locals!