'Tis the gift to be simple

The creepiness of Black Friday is now behind us, with only one Walmart employee trampled to death. Nice job, America. I have been thinking a lot about gift giving the last few weeks, about what it means to be giving in this economy, about how we show, collectively, what is important to us. It is a cliche to bemoan the commercialization of Christmas—we're way beyond that anyway.

Eric and I are generous people, we like to think. We value our friends; we love to bake and cook and entertain, we often knit garments as gifts, and yes, we love to shop for special things for the people we love. But our friends and family, almost without exception, are well off. They don't need objects of our affection. That is, a Gap sweater is not going to cement our relationship.

My friend Erin and I are looking forward to spending a day in December working on a project that will result, we think, in very clever, thoughtful, useful gifts. Eric and I love the No-Coast Craftorama at the Midtown Global Market; it's fun to find unique, handcrafted, quirky objects made by talented artists and craftspeople from all over the country. We'll be doing a lot of holiday baking, gifting cookies and other treats to many. Our already-been-chewed cookie cutters arrive this week. I'm even thinking about taking orders for those who need some of their own holiday baked goods to give others.

But what I won't be doing this year is going to a department store, a mall, or a big box, and buying. Anything. I have no problem with those who do, and I look forward to accepting gifts graciously as I always would. But for me, this Christmas is going to be personal, homemade, and simple. Not because it has to be, but because I want it to be. 

IMAGE SOURCE: Another blog of which I can't read a word; this time Italian.


Meema said...


Elise said...

A-flipping-men. That's how we're doing the holidays this year, too - partly from financial constraints and partly for philosophical reasons. But I will say that it's a lot easier for us to make that decision knowing that we're handy/crafty/bakey people. I can't imagine what I'd do for Christmas this year if I didn't know that I could make things I'd be proud to give as gifts.

Shalana, the funky felter said...

Very well said! I completely agree and find myself in a similar way. I didn't even leave my house on Black Friday, but rather I shopped a little on Etsy for some handmade gifts and made a bunch of little things of my own.

I'll actually be a vendor at No Coast this year selling my handmade felted goodies :) Being from Kansas City, I've never done a show in Minneapolis before and really am looking forward to it.