Mainly: what will I give out for gifts this year?
It’s a major quandary. I have around 15 people to buy for (not counting kids), so to save money I usually make gifts. I’ve been doing that for so long, though, I’m running out of ideas. I’ve given paintings, hand-built clay pots and vases, homemade jams and jellies, homemade liquors, lotions and soaps and lip balms, crocheted hats and scarves, seashell jewelry, hand sewn aprons and tote bags, and every kind of Christmas ornament you can imagine.
The reason I make gifts instead of buying them is not mere frugality. I really believe that offering something thoughtful, something handmade, is more in keeping with the “spirit of the season”. As a non-christian who loves Christmas, I have some pretty specific ideas about what this season is all about. Basically, for me, the winter holiday is a time for finding light in the darkness. For sharing wealth, supporting family, and celebrating community. Somehow, taking a paycheck and blowing it at the mall on sweaters and scented candles just doesn’t cut it.
So in November (some years even earlier) I start thinking about what I will do for gifts. This year I am stuck. And the same reasons I’m stuck for ideas (I’ve done everything already!) make it impossible for me to simply buy a gift. Seriously? After 20 years of handmade gifts, if I show up with some store-bought thing…. No.
I’m open to suggestions.