I'm usually against starting holiday festivities early. When I saw the Christmas decorations going up in September at the mall, I though 'ick, consumerism.' But, if you came to our house for Colin's birthday party a week ago, you would have seen a little display of ornaments on an upside down tomato cage (our improvised tree), a vintage sled, presents wrapped in dictionary pages. Colin actually put it together when he cleaned house since I had all of those things on the living room floor.
Things have been a little different this year because I've been putting new items in my two etsy shops that are Christmas themed and making plans for this weekend's craft fair at church. So, holiday stuff has been on my mind.
I sent an e-mail to my family a few days ago asking if we wanted to stop giving gifts, or if we give them, to give something handmade, regifted, or give to a good cause. Colin asked about it last night and I told him "basically, we're not giving gifts." He started talking about the Biblical reasons for gift giving, that it brings joy, that it shows appreciation, etc. I kind of sighed, thinking that he was making things more complicated. Then I realized that I was taking the easy route by just saying no to gift giving. There are lots of great ways to enjoy the season without giving gifts, but giving gifts can be fun and thoughtful and great. Colin grew up in a family that doesn't celebrate Christmas, so he looks forward to giving and receiving.
All this has me thinking. I'm putting a lot of effort (well, it's my full-time job right now) into my etsy stores and selling things at these holiday fairs. So, I don't know what will be left in me to make more things and find thoughtful gifts for those who I would like to give something to. But, I also realize that I really enjoy making things for others and I enjoy giving. During the next few weeks, I'm going to post some ideas for thoughtful giving that puts less focus on consumerism and more focus on sharing the wealth. I'd love to hear from you and what you do, too!