Monday, November 23, 2009

"If you give money, spend yourself with it..."

Oh. The holidays.

I should say that I LOVE the holidays. I love the purpose, the traditions, the spirit of it all. But like many Americans, I sometimes fall prey to the trappings of consumerism so neatly laid out for me.

As a kid, our holidays were the usual display of gross excesses.

So. much. STUFF.

As an adult, I am trying to eliminate that, to build my children's memories on activities and traditions, not stuff. Last year, my husband and I signed the handmade pledge. It was really amazing. Everything we gave to our children, friends or family was made by us, or bought from an artisan. I was completely and utterly surprised at how many beautiful, thoughtful and unique gifts we were able to give! It was the perfect system shock that we needed to help us remember what Christmas is REALLY about.

I figure as we get older, and our kids get older, the handmade pledge will be harder and harder to carry out. After all, I have a limited amount of talent at craftiness, and as much as I love, it isn't long before you start to cross over into the land of the creepy craft over there. So, our compromise was to incorporate the handmade pledge into every Christmas.

We've decided, that in order to keep the consumerism to a minimum (and our gift buying careful and thoughtful), we would limit gifts to the kids to three each, to represent the three gifts brought by the wisemen to the baby Jesus. AND that one of those three gifts would be handmade. I am currently working on blankets for the kids....I was hoping to have them finished by this Christmas...maybe by the time they graduate high school will be a little more reasonable.  At any rate, we WILL be doing handmade for at least one of our kids three gifts. And honestly, if you haven't tried the handmade pledge, go for it! It's awesome and inspiring!

More on Christmas (and toys!) in a few days...

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